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Odyssey- Tylo Circumnavigation in a Grossly Oversized Rover (Elcano Challenge)


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    There are few KSP challenges that have intrigued me more than the Elcano challenge. I've known of it for years, but until recently assumed it would just be a boring slog that takes no skill whatsoever, just hold down W until you make it around the planet. However, upon inspecting it further, I then realized how much more there is to it. It takes fortitude to sit through the boring stretches of driving, engineering prowice to design the optimal rover, and keen driving skills to minimize your risk of crashing.  I then decided that I wanted to give it a go for myself. 

But that brought several more questions with it. Which planet/moon would I circumnavigate? What would my vehicle look like? How difficult do I want the challenge to be?  It would take me a while to come up with two of those three answers, but I knew right from the start that I wanted to circumnavigate a planet in a large rover with a high crew capacity, mostly because real circumnavigations of Earth included many sailors, and I also wanted to increase the realism aspect, seeing as drivers would need to take shifts in order to keep the rover going for as much of the time as possible. And that's when I came up with the preliminary design for the vehicle, which would later be called Odyssey. And sooner or later, I also decided that I wanted to make this mission as difficult as possible, and that's when I decided to take it to Tylo, the toughest place to drive a rover anywhere in the Kerbol System.

Welcome to...

ODYSSEY: TYLO CIRCUMNAVIGATION, DAY-BY DAY

ELCANO CHALLENGE

by Jack Joseph Kerman

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PRE-MISSION:

As I mentioned earlier, the road to me eventually trying my hand at the Elcano challenge was not perfectly smooth, and for a while the idea of circumnavigating a planet or moon seemed both patently absurd and also incredibly boring to me. This began to change when I sent a rover mission to Tylo, as part of my colonization of the Jool system in a save that I have since unfortunately lost. Originally, I didn't plan to go far with the rover I had brought there; maybe 50 kilometers or so from my small science outpost.  However, the mission quickly turned into a much longer endeavor, and I ended up driving 300+ kilometers across the surface of Tylo, and even had fun doing it. Whether it was finding the optimal way to climb a mountain without starving for electricity, watching my speed as I came back down, or just laughing at the floating boulders that Tylo seems to have an abundance of, the mission never got too boring, which greatly surprised me. Here's a recreation of the rover and mission I made in a newer save:

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After this successful mission, I slowly warmed up to the idea of a potential circumnavigation mission, and a few months later I tried my hand at building a massive rover that would be used to circumnavigate either the Mun or Duna.

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I simply dubbed this rover the "Circumnavigator" (creative, I know), and tested its features, such as the small interior, mining equipment, and cargo garage for a smaller rover in the back ramp. The smaller "mountaineer" rover would have been very similar to the one shown on Tylo above, except with more electric charge capacity to increase its range. This rover's design was pretty flawed, however, and in my opinion it looked rather ugly. The wheels were evenly spaced apart on an unnecessary number of girder segments, the thing was 40 meters long and awkward to drive, the battery power was limited, and the mining equipment was entirely pointless. I would later name it the Odyssey, but it would never be used anywhere other than testing at the KSC.

More screenshots of the original Odyssey:

Spoiler

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So that's when I got to work on my current vehicle, the Odyssey 2. This is the vehicle that I will use to circumnavigate Tylo, and it's a vast improvement over the original.

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Here is coverage of every day of the mission that I've done so far:

Current Latitude: 90 Degrees North

Current Longitude: 1 Degree West

DAY 0: NEW DESIGN, LAUNCH AND ASSEMBLY IN ORBIT

New Design for the Odyssey 2

Spoiler

The new design is actually one that I came up with randomly while I was trying to sleep one night. I probably would have proceeded with the original design had it not been for this "Eureka" moment that night. I'm really glad this happened, as the Odyssey 2 is far superior to its predecessor. 

First and foremost, it looks much better in my opinion. The original version was far too long and awkward looking for my liking, while the new design is much more compact and aesthetically pleasing. It also features a more spacious interior, removes the redundant mining equipment, and has a mass of exactly 70 tons. (The screenshot says 73 tons, but that was before I removed the fireworks that I was going to fire when the circumnavigation was completed, as they don't even work on Tylo because there's no atmosphere. 

Here's a look at the new version's interior: eKoiYnJ.jpgAs you can see, much more roomy and well put-together than the crappy cargo bay with the small table. It also has cargo containers on the other side, in which I stashed a motherlode of repair kits, because we sure would need them, as wheels break regularly in high gravity.dkMsKGZ.jpgThere is also a new door setup, which uses service bays.3X0goOO.jpgThe rover garage is also new and improved, with a redesigned "Mountaineer" rover:
7uiSogv.jpgOf course, however, any rover needs a mechanism by which it will descend to the surface of its destination, and for this I have devised a descent stage.

It has about 2,600 m/s of delta-V, which is enough to land on Tylo, which, by extension, means the Odyssey 2 can land anywhere in the Kerbol System apart from Eve. The descent stage will be launched separately from the rover itself, and will dock with it in low Tylo orbit. Spamming reaction wheels save lives.

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And lastly, we have the Tylo Ascent Vehicle, which will take the crew of 14 kerbals back to low Tylo Orbit once the circumnavigation has been completed. (I'm also going to make another vessel that will take them back to Kerbin later)

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Launches of the Descent Stage and TAV

Spoiler

GZ6Tw83.jpgLauncher for descent stage. The first stage is powered by 4 Clydesdales and 12 Mainsails, yielding a total thrust of more than 28 meganewtons at launch. However, because the payload is so heavy, it only gets a TWR of about 1.3 off the launch pad. I really like the look of this launch vehicle; I will probably use a modified version of it in future misssions. The second stage is powered by Skipper engines, and the third stage uses nuclear engines to haul heavy payloads to anywhere in the Kerbol system.

gcB4KQL.jpgSRB separation

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(Unrelated screenshot)

The rocket kept exploding after the first stage separation because the engine plate shrouds were clipped into the second stage's engines, resulting in rapid unplanned disassembly, so I ended up having to remove the shrouds to solve this problem.

After this slight hiccup, we launched into LKO:

WF3JquD.jpgAnd transferred to Jool:

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It turns out I'm an absolute square and forgot to take any screenshots of the ascent vehicle's launch, so you'll just have to take my word for it that I launched it properly. It followed a near-identical trajectory to the descent stage.

The Launch of Odyssey

Spoiler

"Mission Control to Odyssey, you are go for launch."

Mission Commander Germund Kerman: "Roger that. Beginning ignition sequence."

"10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0.. Liftoff! We have liftoff on Odyssey 2!"

9x9xDHW.jpgThis rocket had to be designed somewhat unconventionally, in order to accommodate the oversized fairing for the Odyssey 2. If I had placed the whole launch vehicle under the fairing as opposed to putting some of it around it, then the vehicle would have been uncontrollable due to wobbling at launch. Once again, however, spamming SAS modules is saving my bacon here. Mid-launch, I realized that the central core's fuel was draining faster than the outer two boosters, so I ended up reconfiguring the staging and jettisoning it as it was dead weight.

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On the way to orbit

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Germund Kerman: "Igniting the engines to begin the transfer to Jool. Get ready for a little jolt, fellas!"
Kevin Kerman: "I swear I've heard that line in a movie somewhere.."
From there, it was smooth sailing to Tylo, with a mid-course correction and Tylo gravity assist in between to get an orbit around Jool for free.

iiApbSG.jpgI then performed an orbital rendezvous of the Odyssey and its descent stage in a 25 km Tylo orbit.

qEnQxtu.jpgWhich went pretty smoothly. 

Mission Control: "Great work, team! Now get some rest, as tomorrow may very well be the most stressful day of your lives."

Germund Kerman: "Thanks for that. This is Odyssey 2, signing off."

Ribrim Kerman: "Why've they always got to stress us out like that?"

Germund Kerman: "They're just teasing us, pal. Tomorrow we'll be safely down on Zenith Crater."

Zenith Crater is what I am calling my targeted landing site. It's that large crater on Tylo's equator that faces directly towards Jool, hence, when viewed from the crater, Jool appears at the viewer's zenith, or directly overhead. It's located near Tylo's prime meridian as well.

DAY 1: TOUCHDOWN ON TYLO

The Landing

Spoiler

Mission Control: "This is Mission Control to Odyssey. Wakey, wakey."

Bill Kerman: "This is Odyssey. Commander Germund will be with you shortly."

Mission Control: "Well, tell him to get going! We let all yous sleep an extra 30 minutes!"

Bill Kerman: "Sure thing."

A few minutes later..

Germund Kerman: "Odyssey to Mission Control, ready for engine ignition on your command."

Mission Control: "Stage. Ignite the Mainsails."

*A loud rumble is heard as the descent stage's Mainsail engines roar to life*

Germund Kerman: "Ignition confirmed. Beginning deorbit burn. Keeping retrograde."

Mission Control: "Keep a slight outward radial. Your thrust-to-weight ratio is not particularly high."

Germund Kerman: "Understood."

*Odyssey begins to descend towards the surface of Tylo*

Mission Control: "Your vertical speed is increasing, and you are losing altitude fast. Set throttle to full."

Germund Kerman: "Affirmative."

Bill Kerman: "That ground is approaching fast! Go! Go! Go!"

Money Kerman: "I can't look.."

Germund Kerman: "Relax. Our velocity is rapidly decreasing. Estimated time to zero velocity: 30 seconds."

*Odyssey is now within 2 km of the surface of Tylo*

Mission Control: "Your velocity is 300 m/s and falling. Throttle down for the final landing burn. Change course."

Germund Kerman: "Throttling down."

Germund Kerman: "We've begun ascending again just meters off the surface. Throttling back more."

*Odyssey begins falling again

Ribrim Kerman: "AAA-"

*Odyssey thuds down on the surface of Tylo at 7 m/s*

Mission Control: "Odyssey, do you read me?"

Germund Kerman: "This is Odyssey 2, from Zenith Crater. Touchdown confirmed."

*Mission Control erupts into applause as the crew breathes one gigantic sigh of relief*

Video of landing: https://i.imgur.com/TkHIxij.mp4

I can tell you from experience that landing large craft on Tylo is no easy task, and after it had been done, all I could think of was this picture:

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Regardless, however, we made it, and that's what matters. Germund Kerman and the gang then stepped out onto Tylo's surface to plant the first flag, marking the start of my Elcano Challenge.

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Germund Kerman: "For the glory of Jebediah Kerman's Junkyard and Spaceship Parts!"

After this celebratory flag planting, chief engineer Ribrim Kerman tested the rover's driving systems to make sure they were all intact:

Ribrim Kerman: "Motors"

Jack Kerman: "Online"

Ribrim Kerman: "Ladders and Service Bays."

Jack Kerman: "In working order. Action group 2 has not been compromised."

Ribrim Kerman: "Garage hinges."

Money Kerman: "Functional."

Ribrim Kerman: "Excellent. Germund, we are ready for action."

Germund Kerman: "Good."

The Odyssey then began its journey across Tylo, heading in the northerly direction towards the pole, after which I want to stop by the Tylo Cave and the highest peak on the entire moon, which is also located near there. I then came to a "Checkerboard", which I scanned with the scanning arm before calling it a day:

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DAY 2: THE JOURNEY BEGINS 

The First True Driving Session

Spoiler

Day 2 began where I left off on Day 1, at a "Checkerboard" formation in Zenith Crater, a few kilometers from our initial landing site. And guess what I did the literal second I started driving? I broke half the solar panels on my rover like an absolute dunce, costing me 12 repair kits to fix. The repair kits are definitely going to be an issue on this mission, since because Tylo has high gravity, wheels break frequently. As such, I need to be as conservative with them as possible, and not use any unless absolutely necessary.

Ribrim Kerman then had to go out and fix them:

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Ribrim Kerman: "Alright Bill and Germund up front, is this your idea of a joke?"

Bill Kerman: "...."

Germund Kerman: "Little mishap. Won't happen again."

Ribrim Kerman: "I'd hope not."

After that slightly embarrassing mistake, I then began driving north towards the rim of Zenith Crater. The rover drives beautifully on flat ground, which is exactly what the basin of Zenith Crater is comprised of. As you'll see later, however, it does not handle uphill slopes well at all. 

It was not too long after leaving that I made my second mistake: I hit one of the small boulders from the Breaking Ground DLC, which, while it didn't damage my craft at all, gave me a pretty good spook. I then stopped, and realized that I still hadn't removed the docking port that I had used to attach the descent stage from the rover, which Ribrim promptly did. You can see the boulder in the background, taunting me as the rover's back headlights illuminate it with a blood-red glow. I hate those boulders.

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*A loud thud is heard as the Odyssey runs over a boulder* 

Ribrim Kerman: "For the love of the Kraken! What's gone wrong this time?"

Bill Kerman: "I, uh.. hit a boulder."

Ribrim Kerman: "You WHAT?"

Jack Kerman: "Checking over systems now. Nothing appears to be damaged. Calm down."

Ribrim Kerman: "I'd like to, but at this rate we're not even going to make it out of the crater before we're a pile of debris scattered across the land!"

At this site, I also took the opportunity to plant my second Elcano Challenge flag, which I called "Boulder Accident"

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From there it was smooth sailing to the rim of the crater, and we were making good time.

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However, once I began ascending the crater rim, things began to go south a little bit. The rover began losing speed on inclines that I swear are shallower than the bunny hill at my local ski area. To solve this problem, I began to do switchbacks with the rover. If you've ever gone hiking, you probably know what I'm talking about: a switchback is the "zig-zag" you go up/down on a steep hill in order to avoid having to go directly up or down, as this would be much more difficult and dangerous: 

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It's a longer distance than going straight up, but it's not like I really have an option here, is it? After at least half a dozen of these, I was almost up the crater rim:

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And finally summited not too long after:

IeLe8eh.jpgI then did a little bit more driving, until I reached about 10 degrees north latitude.

Ribrim was pretty happy about the lack of any accidents after the whole boulder thing.

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DAY 3: ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

Driving Session

Spoiler

Day 3 saw considerably more distance covered than the previous day, going about twice as far. This is thanks to the fact that the terrain was a little more chill today. We started off by doing a little more climbing in elevation, and that's when I had my first wheel failure, which Ribrim wasn't too happy about:

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A little while after this, I noticed a strange visual bug in which the arrows from the "Move" tool were still visible, just suspended there in the sky, following the Odyssey like how a kid thinks the moon follows them in the car.

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Ferwise Kerman: "Um, we've got something out the window. Looks like a bunch of arrows."

Kevin Kerman: "Have you had too many snacks again?"

Ferwise Kerman: "No. Look out the window, port side!"

Kevin Kerman: "What in the name of Jebediah..?"

Quickloading seemed to resolve the glitch, after which Kevin and Ferwise were suspended from their mission duties for 24 hours due to "hallucinations of a mysterious being made of arrows"

After this, I planted my next flag up on a flat saddle, at about 6,700m elevation. Only 3000+ kilometers left to go..

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It was here that I spotted my next target: a giant mountain just above the horizon. I decided that this would be where I would use the Mountaineer rover for the first time. 

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Once we had parked the Odyssey on a saddle to the right of the summit at about 5,900m elevation, it was time to deploy the Mountaineer:

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Money and Tomson Kerman then began the ascent towards the summit in the tiny vehicle, which unsurprisingly proved much more capable of climbing uphill slopes than the Odyssey.

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Money Kerman: "This is Mountaineer. Nearing the summit of the mountain."

Germund Kerman: "Have you thought of a name for it yet?"

Money Kerman: "I get to name it?"

Germund Kerman: "Well, you and Tomson are the first Kerbals to visit it, so why not? The space program never really bothered to name many geological features on planets anyway."

With a name in the back of their minds, Money and Tomson summited the mountain, which had a peak elevation of 9.317 meters.

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Money Kerman: "I still haven't thought of a name.."

Tomson Kerman: "I suck at naming things, but I always liked model rockets as a kid. I'll call it Mt.Kerlington, after Kerlington Model Rockets and Paper Products. Inc."

Money Kerman: "I guess I can't object to that."

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After taking in the beautiful view of the desolate and airless landscape, Money and Tomson descended Mt.Kerlington, which proved to be more difficult than the ascent itself, as the rover kept wanting to turn left or right every time the brakes were applied. Regardless, they made it down safely, and proceeded to park the Mountaineer back into the Odyssey's garage.

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From the saddle of Mt.Kerlington, it was a fairly uneventful drive to the center of Galileo Crater, which has its own biome. Not like that really matters, however, as this mission is being done in a sandbox save.

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Another day of driving complete. 

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DAY 4: INTO THE NIGHT

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 4 was a paintful one. One that I didn't take enough screenshots of. Oh well. The day began with the Odyssey continuing towards the north rim of Galileo Crater, which went smoothly, save for one or two wheel failures. Once I reached the rim, however, things began to go south. Once again, since the Odyssey is such a large rover, it has absolutely abysmal uphill climbing abilities. So it was back to doing switchbacks up the rim, recharging every now and then. Recharging the batteries actually took a very long time to do, as they have a huge capacity of 61,000 units of EC, and the 4 RTGs and 6 solar arrays really don't do much to provide an abundance of power. As such, recharging often took hours of in-game time, which meant that Kerbol had set by the time I got halfway up the crater rim. At least the views of Jool, Laythe, and Vall are nice.

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Around this time, I started using the IVA view to drive up the rim, which turned out to somehow make it more fun. I don't really know why, maybe it's because it feels more like actually driving..? The music is what really kept me going however.

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Siddous Kerman: "Hey look, a floating boulder!"

Jack Kerman: "Yeah! We've only driven past about 300 of them already."

Ribrim Kerman: "Don't even think about driving into it."

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After countless switchbacks and several recharging stops, however, I finally completed the slog up the Galileo Crater Rim, which I have now nicknamed the "Rim of Pain". No more driving through craters for me, it seems.

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I then continued on from the Rim of Pain flag site, but this turned out to be in vain, as I had my first major accident with the Odyssey, which meant my first quickload. Definitely had nothing to do with the fact that I was driving downhill at night at 55 meters a second while barely paying attention to the game. It wasn't a huge setback, though, it only cost me about 20 minutes of progress, as I had quicksaved at the Rim of Pain. 

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At least big rovers fall apart in fashion, leaving debris everywhere.

DAY 5: THE DRIVE NORTH

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 5 began with me making up the ground I lost after crashing the Odyssey at the end of day 4. This shouldn't have been very hard, but apparently I was eager to screw it up, as about halfway back to the crash site I bottomed out the rover and lost a bunch of wheels. Hence, another quickload. Once I finally did get there however, it was a rather uneventful journey, with only a few wheel failures, to my first major milestone of the mission: reaching 45 degrees north latitude. 

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This marks the completion of 1/8 of the Tylo Elcano, and the crew was eager to celebrate:

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Germund Kerman: "Excellent work so far, everyone! One-eighth of this journey is now behind us."

Ribrim Kerman: "Excellent work breaking the wheels over and over again."

Germund Kerman: "Look. my bad, okay? Bill and I are doing the heavy lifting when it comes to driving, and it gets us tired."

Jack Kerman: "I can take another shift driving if you'd like."

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After spending a while relaxing and waiting for the batteries to recharge, it was time to continue northwards. It was around this time that I came to a fork in the road. In front of me was a giant mountain range that the Odyssey would have absolutely no chance of climbing over, which meant that I needed to circumvent it by going either west or east. The western route was a little flatter, but it would have added a huge amount of distance to our trip, and meanwhile, the eastern route would take us through a canyon up a slightly steeper incline. I ended up choosing the eastern route, as you can tell by the IVA view of Odyssey approaching the canyon, which I would later call "Death Canyon", thanks to its difficulty in staying on the walls in order to minimize the uphill climbing we'd have to do.

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During the passage through Death Canyon, I also got great views of the giant mountain I was circumventing.

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Ferwise Kerman: "You think that mountain would be a good place for a ski resort?"

Kevin Kerman: "I guess."

Ferwise Kerman: "Just think about it, man. The slopes are perfect... all it needs is a little terraforming."

It was then time to drive up through the mountain pass out of Death Canyon, which was another slog with multiple switchbacks and recharging stops. The view at the top was rewarding, however, as Kerbol had just begun rising by the time I summited.

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It was not long after this, however, that another accident occurred. It was not particularly severe, however, only resulting in the destruction of one of the Odyssey's back wheels. Also by this time, the structural integrity of the back rover garage was becoming a little bit questionable, with the parts coming a little out of whack with their intended alignments. This may eventually result in me not being able to use the Mountaineer, as undocking it would cause the roof to clip into it and summon the Kraken.

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I decided to continue on, however, and stopped for the night at about 55 degrees north latitude.

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DAY 6: SMOOTH SAILING

Driving Session:

Spoiler

On Day 6, the terrain was pretty smooth, which allowed me to drive the Odyssey much faster and cover a longer distance than I was able to on previous days. I began driving north from about 55 degrees north latitude, and at the start had to do a little uphill switchbacks. During this small uphill phase, I saw something that I hadn't seen before despite having already driven hundreds of kilometers across the surface of Tylo: Double floating boulders. Sure, floating boulders are fun and all, but once you've seen as many of them as I have, they get a little boring and expected. Double floating boulders, however, were something completely new and exciting. 

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Siddous Kerman: "Hey look, a floating boulder!"

Jack Kerman: "Fascinating.. wait a second... There's TWO!"

It was then a relaxing yet rather fast drive northwards, with some more beauty shots of Jool, Laythe, and Vall. Laythe and Vall had swung around to be at their closest point to Tylo in their orbits, making both of them highly prominent in the sky.

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Around this time, I managed to break a solar panel by scraping it along the ground while I wasn't paying attention:

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Since each individual solar array generates so little power though, and because we also have RTGs, I decided not to worry about it and continue on. Those 4 repair kits would be better used fixing wheels that had broken for the 5,687th time. Speaking of broken wheels..

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The wheel failures are becoming more frequent and annoying, sometimes happening for seemingly no reason at all. I mean, I can slam into an uphill slope at 40 m/s and the wheels will take it like a champ, but God forbid I hit the brakes a little bit at 15 m/s. Regardless, we continued on, and made it to Tylo's Arctic Circle latitude of 66.5 degrees north.

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 Newwise Kerman: "That's it! We've reached the Arctic Circle!"

Rongee Kerman: "Um, aychshually Tylo has no arctic circle because it has no axial til-"

Newwise Kerman: "Shut it! Let us enjoy our moment of triumph for crying out loud!"

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During this quick rest stop, Ribrim took the opportunity to fix yet another wheel failure. I think by the end of this mission Ribrim will no longer be suited for any task apart from repairing broken wheels.

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Hey look a funny

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More beauty shots

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Once I reached 75 degrees north latitude, I decided to call it a day. Only 15 more until the north pole!

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Germund Kerman: "Great work, team. Let's get some rest, for tomorrow we reach the north pole! We'll need all the rest we can get to drive as keenly as possible on the chaotic terrain that almost surely awaits us there."

Map of my overall progress so far:

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DAY 7: THE NORTH POLE OF TYLO

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 7 was a fun one to drive. Lots of variation in landscapes and terrain, ranging from flat crater basins to the jumbled mess of the North Pole. The day began with a downhill slope into a dark valley, which I later realized was a crater, which I had been trying to avoid going into to save myself the hassle of driving back out of the rim.

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As I sped along the crater floor, I dodged boulder after boulder:

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Once I came back into the sunlight, I took the opportunity to look back at Jool again. It was now almost on the horizon, and the other major moons had been obscured from view.

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Full view of the crater, which I guess I'll call Boreal Crater for its strong proximity to Tylo's north pole.

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The floor of Boreal Crater was nice and smooth, and as such I was able to get some pretty serious speed going without having to worry about crashing. Some of the Kerbals may have disagreed with my assertion that it was "safe", however.

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Germund Kerman: "How do you like that speed, boys?"

Bill Kerman: "A little slower, maybe.? I'd rather not hit a boulder at this speed."

Germund Kerman: "Aw c'mon! It's like the flats of Minmus out here! We can see for miles ahead of us!"

Ribrim Kerman: "I don't think the wheels are gonna like it."

Germund Kerman: "Fair, I guess. Slowing down to 45 m/s."

Mission Control: "Odyssey, slow the pace. We don't need any more accidents."

Germund Kerman: "On it."

And so the Odyssey sped along, its latitude increasing with every passing second:

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Before too long, however, it was time to begin the hike up the Boreal Crater rim, which was quite the slog.

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This also wasn't helped by the fact that Jool had moved in front of Kerbol, blocking our solar panels from getting electricity.

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Eventually, though, we did make our way out of Boreal Crater. Here's a screenshot of the slope up the rim itself, so you can see what I was dealing with this time.

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Not too long after this, I managed to get my first glimpses of what I believed to be the north pole of Tylo, although I had to zoom out quite a lot to see anything. See the little black sliver near the center of the image? That's what I believe is the north pole, as the poles in KSP tend to be buggy and as such can end up being see-through.

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I got a few more beauty shots on the way:

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Then, at 85 degrees north latitude, I had another major accident that resulted in a quickload. While I was going slow at the time, about 20 m/s, in anticipation of a drop-off, what I didn't expect was for it to be fully 45 degrees, and needless to say, I crashed the Odyssey. I then drove over it again at just a few m/s, and while that was successful, I managed to bottom out the rover by slamming it into an uphill again, causing a quadruple wheel failure. Here you can see three of the broken wheels, with the fourth one being a little more towards the front.

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Jack Kerman: "I'm reading a quadruple failure on the starboard side wheels. Continuing to monitor."

Ribrim Kerman: "A quadruple failure? That can't happen, it's gotta be instrumentation."

Jack Kerman: "If you're so sure, why don't you go out and have a look?"

Ribrim Kerman: "Alright then"

*Ribrim Kerman goes on EVA*

Ribrim Kerman: "Oh you've gotta be joking.. Tell Germund and Bill they are no longer allowed to drive more than 30 m/s downhill."

Jack Kerman: "Ok."

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So that's another 8 repair kits down the drain. I may eventually have to send up a little "care package" containing extra repair kits if I end up running out.

After this hiccup, it was once again onwards to the north pole, which I had been able to get a better look at:

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The terrain around the pole is extremely bumpy, with "rays" emanating from the pole. The pole itself is located on the side of a mountain, so actually driving the Odyssey to the exact pole is unfortunately a no-go. I would, however, try to get there with the Mountaineer, and if that didn't work, by EVA. Here you can see Odyssey approaching the mountain containing the pole, at just of 89 degrees north latitude.

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Upon closer inspection of the pole, there also appeared to be a deep crevice just past it, which I wondered how long it would take a kerbal to fall falling from the top to hit the bottom. Sorry about the dark photos, the angle of the sunlight here isn't good at all, and even increasing the "Ambient Light Boost" didn't help to resolve detail a whole lot.

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And then this happened:

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Welp, that's another quickload it seems. Eventually, though, we got as close to the pole as we could get with the Odyssey without serious risks of traction loss.

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Germund Kerman: "Well, fellas, this is as far as we go. There is no way the Odyssey could possibly traverse the terrain between us and the pole. A bit unfortunate, but it'll have to do."

Ferwise Kerman: "I've been looking through the photos from orbit. The pole seems to be full of stars."

Kevin Kerman: "What on Kerbin are you talking about?"

Ferwise Kerman: "Dude. Look. It's black at the pole, man."

Kevin Kerman: "I know you were right about the arrow thing, but you're full of crap this time."

Ferwise Kerman: "Go walk there if you're so sure, man."

Kevin Kerman: "Is that some kind of challenge?"

Ferwise Kerman: "Yeah, I guess."

Before Kevin set off on foot for the pole, however, I tried to drive the Mountaineer there, but, as I had predicted earlier, due to the increasing sag in the wing parts that make up the roof, the whole thing exploded when I undocked it because of part clipping. So that was a no-go. I'm pretty disappointed that I only got to use it once. Maybe later on I can get the roof to explode in just the right way that it will be removed while leaving the rover unharmed. We'll see.

And so, after being dared by Ferwise to walk there, and after somehow convincing Germund to let him go, Kevin set off for the north pole on foot.

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Kevin Kerman: "Getting very steep up here.. Ferwise, you better admit you were wrong once I see that the pole is indeed normal."

Ferwise Kerman: "Yeah, whatever man."

Kevin then continued making his way up towards the pole, counting down the minutes of latitude before he finally caught sight of something he thought impossible: a vertical drop down into a pit, with the right wall being "full of stars".

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Kevin Kerman: "My God, it’s full of stars!"

Germund Kerman: "Pan your camera down, so we can see."

Kevin Kerman: "Sure. Here you go."

Germund Kerman: "Amazing. I would say jump down there for science, but I'd rather not file any paperwork once I get home."

In an alternate reality, however, Kevin did jump down, and promptly went poof once he crossed under the terrain.

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Instead, Kevin walked up the treacherously steep slope up to the true north pole, with certain death surrounding him on two sides.

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Kevin Kerman: "Ferwise is gonna get it good when I get back, I swear.."

In spite of the extreme danger, Kevin carried on, and made it to the pole:

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And planted a flag, which ended up being placed sideways. 

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After this death-defying act, Kevin began to make his way back down the slope of doom:

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And that's when he fell off.

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Kevin Kerman: "Whoa... Gah!"

*A loud thud is heard from Kevin's audio feed*

Germund Kerman: "Kevin, do you read me? Kevin?"

*Kevin's video and audio feeds turn to static*

Germund Kerman: "Kevin!"

While Germund may have thought him dead, Kevin somehow miraculously survived the 400-meter tumble down the cliff face. I honestly have no idea how, as he hit the ground multiple times at over 40 m/s, and even spaghettified a little at times. Regardless, he came to rest at the bottom of the cliff. His suit's camera equipment  and radio were destroyed however, meaining that Germund lost all contact with him.

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Kevin laid there in shock for several minutes, seemingly thinking that he was dead. It was only after a stone became dislodged next to him that he fully came to. Kevin got up, dusted himself off, and walked back to the Odyssey as if nothing had happened. Of course, Germund was pretty surprised and also relieved when he caught sight of Kevin making his way over the ridge.

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Germund Kerman: "Holy Kraken, he's alive!"

Germund Kerman: "Kevin, do you read me?"

*no response*

Germund Kerman: "Seems his radio is broken."

Once Kevin had safely made it back to the Odyssey and told his harrowing tale, and after he gave Ferwise a good slap for almost getting him killed, the crew celebrated their arrival to the north pole.

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DAY 8: I AM SPEED

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 8 of the Elcano Challenge began with a beautiful sunrise over the north pole of Tylo. The crew had taken an extended stay there to rest and recooperate for the long journey that still lay ahead of them, a journey that still had over 2,500 km left to go. The crew was slow to get going after the relaxation of their break.

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Once we finally got going, I decided that I would drive the Odyssey along the edge of the deep canyon that I shared a screenshot of in the last part of this log. The canyon was now much better illuminated as it was now daytime:

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Ferwise Kerman: "Dude, imagine jumping down into that canyon."

Kevin Kerman: "I'd like to see you do it this time."

Ferwise Kerman: "No way, man! It was just a joke."

Kevin Kerman: "Right.."

The drive along the top of the canyon was treacherous, with great care required in order to not go tumbling down the walls to our doom. The nice angle of Kerbol made the views worth the risk, however. Wheel failures were also common while I was making my way down the canyon.

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Eventually, though, we made it out, and I managed to get a pretty nice angle of it as I was heading east to re-align with the prime meridian, as my next major target, the Tylo Cave, is located at about 175 degrees east longitude.

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Once I had left the immediate vicinity of the north pole, the driving became very pleasant as the hills gave way to flat plains. These plains also sank to some pretty low elevations, as you'll see later. The flat terrain was a nice contrast from the chaotic nature of the pole, to be sure.

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Eventually, after some minor hills, I came to an area that was almost completely flat, with a very slight downhill gradient. This was the perfect formula for MAXIMUM SPEED. 

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As I drove along the flats, which I have dubbed Bonneville Mare after Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats, which is famous for being a place people go to test their car's true top speed, the Odyssey continued to build up speed, getting faster and faster with every passing second. Before long, I was hauling at over 60 meters a second, or 134 miles per hour. I knew the Odyssey was capable of driving pretty fast, but I wasn't aware that it was apparently faster than most commercially available cars! The slight downhill definitely contributed to this elevated top speed, however, but it was fun to drive nonetheless.

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Eventually, the Odyssey topped out at a blistering 74 meters per second, or 166 miles per hour. Had a few close calls with Breaking Ground terrain scatter as well.

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Tomson Kerman: "Slow it down up there, Jack and Germund! You're making us all pretty worried."

Jack Kerman: "The terrain is perfectly smooth. There's no risk of wheel failure under these conditions."

Germund Kerman: "Come on bud, enjoy the joyride! Even Mission Control has deemed fast driving safe at this location."

Tomson Kerman: "Just don't hit any boulders, I guess."

Germund Kerman: "They're pretty easy to avoid when you're on a spot this flat, I won't hit- WOAH!"

*The Odyssey jerks to the right to avoid a boulder*

Germund Kerman: "Right then.. quit distracting me!"

Eventually, however, our joyride came to an end as the terrain began to slope gently upwards once more.

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Germund then proceeded to plant a flag commemorating the joyride, labeled "I AM SPEED"

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Not long after, it was back to going uphill, much to Germund's dismay. At some point the Odyssey swerved to avoid a boulder, and must have been angled 30 degrees to the ground before coming back onto its wheels. Nothing was damaged, thankfully, apart from two more sets of solar panels. They will not be repaired anytime soon, as my supplies of repair kits are beginning to get a little low.

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I also stopped and took the opportunity to try and solve the garage door roof problem, but the wing parts making it up were too heavy to be moved by a Kerbal, save for two of the side wing boards. At this point, I decided to call it a day for the driving session.

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Map of my overall progress so far:

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Arrival of the Tylo Ascent Vehicle:

Spoiler

Also on Day 8 was the arrival of the Tylo Ascent Vehicle to the moon. It is the actual reason for me stopping the Odyssey for a few in-game days, as it was still about 250,000 km away from Jool by the time the Odyssey reached the north pole of Tylo. The orbit that the TAV inserted itself into around Tylo ended up being inclined slightly, and although I had enough fuel to correct it, I set myself the challenge of doing a precise landing from an inclined orbit, at night, on Tylo. 

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The final booster stage provided the initial deorbit burn, followed by the activation of the two radial Wolfhound engines to stick the landing.

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Which went pretty well, with me landing about 600m from the original Elcano 1 flag in Zenith Crater. I still need to send up a proper return vehicle though, as the TAV only has enough delta-V, when fully manned, to lift the crew into Tylo orbit. 

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DAY 9: THE LONG HAUL

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 9 saw me covering more distance than in any previous session, with me covering more than 30 degrees of latitude in a single three-hour driving session. In fact, combined  with Day 8, I covered 45 degrees of latitude in just 2 days. In comparison, it took me 5 days to cover the first 45 degrees of latitude of the trip, although the terrain on the earlier days was certainly more rugged overall. This session would entail lots of nighttime driving, as well as taking a slight detour to avoid going over a mountain range.

The day began with me gradually making my way up through some foothills as Kerbol slowly set over the horizon.

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Shortly after this, I had some more close calls with the small boulders. I swear these things keep spawning out of nowhere when I'm not paying close enough attention. At least they're good for getting science in other game modes, I guess.

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Of course, it wouldn't be a proper driving session without at least one wheel failure. This failure happened for seemingly no reason at all, and Ribrim was not pleased to see that the lower container was now all out of repair kits. From the number of kits that I have in the upper container, I calculated that I will only be able to repair 16 more wheels before I run out of repair kits completely and have to send more to the Odyssey. In the container you can also see some ground science experiments, which I plan to use at the Tylo Cave later.

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But it's back to repairing wheels.

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Ribrim Kerman: "The lower storage container is now officially out of repair kits. I see reckless driving has gotten us very far."

Germund Kerman: "Bud, I've been driving in a controlled manner all this time. Sometimes the wheels just get overstressed or wear out. It happens."

Ribrim Kerman: "Well, drive even more controlled then!"

I then took the opportunity to plant a flag recognizing Ribrim for his mastery of the art of repairing Ruggedized Vehicular Wheels. I named the area Ribrim Hills.

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A little while later, I zoomed out in order to plan my path to Blackhead Plateau, which is what I'm calling the dark black area of the surface that the Tylo Cave is located in:

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Before I reached the Kerman Mountains, however, I was able to do a little more speeding across the flatter areas of the Ribrim Hills.

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However, all good things come to an end, and before I knew it, I was switchbacking up mountains again. This is actually when I decided to circumvent the worst parts of the mountain range by moving to the west of it, hence the sharp turn in the map of the approximate route I took.

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The detour proved to be much more conducive to driving, and once I reached the summit, I was even able to catch a little air.

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Once the mountains were behind us, it was more pleasant driving through some surprisingly smooth highlands. In fact, the Odyssey was able to safely reach speeds of over 60 m/s at times.

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At my next flag planting, I thought of a name for these highlands, the Midnight Highlands, a reference to the fact that it was close to midnight at the Odyssey's location on Tylo as I drove through the highlands.

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It was rather pleasant gazing up at the stars as the rover's batteries slowly recharged their electricity.

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Bill Kerman: "Just look at all those stars. Why haven't we been paying attention to them more?"

Germund Kerman: "You and I have been having to keep our eyes on driving for the longest time."

Money Kerman: "The bands of the galaxy sure are bright tonight."

Ferwise Kerman: "Hey look, a shooting star!"

Kevin Kerman: "Aw, I missed it. Wait, Tylo has no atmosphere, so there can't be shooting stars anyway."

Ferwise Kerman: "Exactly. Made you look, dude."

The final obstacle on our way to Blackhead Plateau was a deep-rimmed crater which I dubbed Ferwise Crater after the clown himself. Since the crater had such a steep rim, and since I'd learned my lesson with crater rims, I decided to go around it.

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I made sure to plant a flag on the crater edge, however.

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After this it was only a quick jaunt over to the edge of Blackhead Plateau.

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The edges of the plateau were rather steep however, meaning that I had to switchback up the slopes for a while before I finally made it onto the top.

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The surface here was quite dark, and as a result it reminded me of the surface of Ike and the flat volcanic plains of Moho. If it weren't for the gravity and someone asked me to guess where the screenshot was taken and I didn't know, I probably would have guessed Moho.

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Keep in mind that all of this is even with my in-game brightness setting turned up relatively high. Here's what the IVA view looked like without any brightening:

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Just then, I caught my first glimpse of the main event: the Tylo Cave!

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Arrival at the Tylo Cave!

Spoiler

After a long and arduous driving session, the Odyssey finally arrived at the Tylo Cave at the end of Day 9. The area that the cave is located in has a very dark surface, and is elevated above the surrounding terrain. Consequently, I named the area Blackhead Plateau. Some time after safely making it up onto Blackhead Plateau, I finally caught my first glimpse of the Tylo Cave.BTD8yBF.jpg

At first it appeared as nothing more than a distant lump on the terrain, but as I got closer, it quickly began to fill more and more of my screen.

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Not long after this, I received an alert from Mission Control informing me that I had discovered "a cavernous rock formation on Tylo."

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Tomson Kerman: "Hey, did I miss something? I swear that cave just materialized out of thin air. One moment, you see nothing, then another it's there, as if it loaded in in a video game or something."

Germund Kerman: "Not that I can tell. Are you doing alright?"

Tomson Kerman: "Yeah, I'm fine. My mind's probably just playing tricks on me."

Germund Kerman: "Regardless, this will be a great place to set up some science experiments. The cave will also provide good shelter from radiation."

Once I'd parked the Odyssey out in front of the cave, it was time to get all 14 kerbals out for a group photo!

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And then a celebratory flag planting from mission commander Germund Kerman.

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More exploration of the cave coming in the next log!

DAY 10: PROVISIONS

The Care Package and Return Vehicle:

Spoiler

What's this? Something other than driving a rover for hours on end? Yeah, out of necessity, at least. As you probably know, the Odyssey is beginning to run low on repair kits, and I want to send up a small vehicle containing more should it run out before the circumnavigation is complete, which, judging by how frequent wheel failures have been so far, is almost a guarantee at this point. And so this is the vehicle I have devised to solve the issue. It's nothing special really, just a small robotic lander with a container full of repair kits. But then again, it's not like we really need anything big to conduct this mission. The lander has two stages, both powered by a single Terrier engine. There is no means for the lander itself to generate electricity, as once it has landed, it no longer needs to do anything and thus solar panels or RTGs would just be dead weight.

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Here it is on the pad ready to launch on an upgraded version of my standard John Doe lightweight launch vehicle (called that for its generic nature):

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Once I'd reached orbit, it was time to just let it sit there for a while, as the next Jool transfer window isn't for almost an in-game year.

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However, there was still more building to be done. Since I don't yet have a vehicle to return the crew of the Odyssey to Kerbin once they've completed their mission, I've instead decided to retrofit an existing ship I already have in orbit, the KSS Hampton, with more crew capacity in order to enable it to carry 21 kerbals as opposed to the 5 it currently can. I also want to refual it, as it does not currently have enough delta-V to get to Tylo and back. It expended most of its fuel to capture a class-D asteroid to build the Regulus, an asteroid space station/hotel I have in low Munar orbit. Fully fueled, it has about 9,000 m/s of delta-V, which is far more than enough to complete our mission. As such, I won't actually be fully refueling it.

Here's the upgrade: a mk3 passenger module outfitted with docking capabilities, parachutes, and a 3.75m heat shield for ballast as it re-enters. I will need to go on EVA with an engineer kerbal in order to remove the claws that are currently on the front of the Hampton, and replace them with a 2.5m docking port so the crew module can dock. On the top is a large mk3 fuel fuselage, which will dock with and refuel the Hampton.

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Here it is on the pad. The design of the launch vehicle is a simple, 3-stage setup, very much akin to a Saturn V.

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The Hampton is currently in a 2,000 km orbit, and as such we need a little more delta-V to get to it than would be required in LKO.

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Once I'd achieved orbit, it was time to plan a rendezvous, which I got down to about 300m separation.

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Aldbin Kerman then went on EVA and removed the claws at the bow of the Hampton. Who cares about Kessler syndrome, anyway?

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Replacing the claws with a docking port:

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Once the docking port had been installed, it was time to dock the crew module to the Hampton, which we did pretty easily. Looks a little weird, but it will get the job done.

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And then I docked the fuel module:

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And refueled the Hampton:

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Once the refueling was finished, I thought I'd at least reduce Kessler Syndrome a little bit and safely moved the empty tank to a graveyard orbit.

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The IVA view of the Hampton wasn't quite as magnificent anymore, unfortunately.

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Driving Session:

Spoiler

The driving session for Day 10 was quite short, given that I'd already spent a considerable amount of time building and launching the Care Package and upgrades to the KSS Hampton, a ship that I previously used to capture an asteroid that has been repurposed to act as a crew retrieval vessel. In addition, I also spent some more time exploring the Tylo Cave. Here's the Odyssey about to drive into the cave:

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IVA view

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Once I'd gotten about halfway through the cave, I stopped the rover to go out and set up some surface science experiments that I'd brought with me.

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Money Kerman: "Unpacking the Experiment Control Station."

Kevin Kerman: "Great. Status of the control station?"

Money Kerman: "It's in good condition.. what the.. it just disappeared!"

Kevin Kerman: "What do you mean it "disappeared"?"

Money Kerman: "As soon as I unpacked it fully, it vanished."

Ferwise Kerman: "See, Kevin? More strange stuff going on here, man."

What actually happened is that the game thought the "surface" was on top of the cave, thanks to its solid hitbox. This meant that the experiment was deployed on top of the cave, where the game thought the surface really was, 400 meters above where Money Kerman had actually placed it. Needless to say, I couldn't help but chuckle a little after this realization.

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Upon switching to it, it tumbled down the cave roof and exploded.

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Not long after, Money Kerman was also teleported to the cave roof. I'd thought about climbing the cave with a Kerbal for the view, but apparently the game wanted to just do it for me.

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I then loaded a save back before I'd entered the cave and drove through again.

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Once I'd returned to the side of the cave where I'd planted my flag, I set up the surface science experiments.

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And Kevin smashed the last banana remaining in the snack container for SCIENCE!

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After doing some EVA science, I left the experiments at location and continued my drive southward.

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Just as it had spontaneously appeared as I drove within a certain distance of it, the cave magically dematerialized once I'd gotten about 10 kilometers away.

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I didn't spent that much time driving today, but apparently I spent long enough to have at least ONE wheel failure:

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Map of my overall progress:

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DAY 11: HALFWAY THERE

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 11 began with the Odyssey finally leaving Blackhead Plateau completely, making its way towards the equator of Tylo's farside from Jool. It didn't take long, however, for me to lose 20 minutes of progress because of one of those godforsaken boulders. I hit one at 50 m/s, and let's just say the results were.. undesirable. That's what I get for not paying attention, I suppose. I thought maybe the rover would just destroy the boulder, as this had happened a couple days ago a little bit before I entered Blackhead Plateau.

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No parts were actually destroyed on impact with the boulder, but the whole rover jolted backwards and flew upwards a few meters before crashing back down on the surface and exploding a little bit. So that was a rather unfortunate start to my session.

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After driving back the distance I'd lost and qucksaving, I took the opportunity to scout out the area I would be driving through, a crater that I named the Crater of Misfortune to reflect the accident that had happened in its proximity.

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I wouldn't actually be driving through the crater itself, but rather along its rim as I didn't want to waste a bunch of time climbing back out of it. Did some little jumps while traversing the rim, however.

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About halfway down the crater rim, I planted the flag labeled "Crater of Misfortune".

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Once I'd left the Crater of Misfortune behind, the terrain descended quite a bit into a low, hilly area:

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I called this area the Ganymede Hills to reflect the fact that Tylo is KSP's analogue to Jupiter's largest moon Ganymede. This area was pretty boring to drive across, though, so I didn't take many screenshots of it. I did plant a flag there, though.

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More boring driving:

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Ferwise Kerman: "Ugh, this area is so boring, man. Are we there yet?"

Kevin Kerman: "No."

Ferwise Kerman: "Are we there yet?"

Kevin Kerman: "NO!"

Jack Kerman: "Still got another 150 or so kilometers before the equator. Be more like Gwengard, she seems to be enjoying herself."

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Despite the rather gentle terrain, I STILL managed to break a rover wheel. It wouldn't be a proper log of the mission if this didn't happen at least once, I suppose.

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Around this time, I noticed an object moving across the sky, and it turned out to be the spent booster for the descent stage left in Tylo orbit. This gave me a bit of a morale boost, seeing as it meant I was now within 100 km of the equator.

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I then zoomed the map view out again to plan out my next moves. I was approaching another one of those dark, presumably basaltic areas on Tylo. The actual science experiments you get from those areas list them as the biome "Mara", like those on the Moon. As such, I decided to call this one "Nadir Mare", as we were almost at the point on Tylo's surface where Jool would be directly below a viewer, or at their "nadir."

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I planted a flag once I entered the area as well. I wouldn't be taking the Odyssey through the middle of this area, as this would require me to take a bit of detour that would just lead me to more difficult terrain anyways.

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A bit before this, the Odyssey suffered another wheel failure, and I decided to change things up this time by making Bill go out and fix it instead of Ribrim.

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Ribrim Kerman: "Why've you gone out and fixed the wheel, Bill? You're stealing my thunder!"

Bill Kerman: "You never seem to shut up about how you're constantly having to repair wheels. Thought I'd do you a favor."

Ribrim Kerman: "It's become a hobby of mine at this point."

Bill Kerman: "What, complaining?"

At this point I also had to stop and recharge the batteries, meaning that once I got going again, Kerbol was now low on the horizon. 

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Before too long, I finally reached the equator of Tylo again, meaning that I was officially halfway finished with the Elcano Challenge! At least I'm halfway there in terms of driving distance, in terms of time, though, I may not be. Just to the south of the Odyssey's current location lies a region that appears to be quite rugged and full of high mountains, at least judging by the map view. That's gonna be fun to drive through.

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Map view showing flags halfway around Tylo:

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DAY 12: CONTINUING ON

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Immediately following my successful efforts to reach the equator again, I took a short hiatus from actually doing any driving of the Odyssey. There are two reasons for this: One, I was satisfied with the amount of progress I'd made in the last few days and wanted to do other things besides just this mission, and two, I was a little disheartened by the jagged mountains that appeared to lie to my south based on the map view. They don't appear to get really bad until a few hundred kilometers south of my equatorial position, but regardless I was not looking forward to crossing them. Alright, enough rambling. Day 12 was a pretty long one as far as driving goes, yet one that was not screenshot-heavy at all thanks to its relatively boring scenery and the fact that I was getting a little demoralized at this point. 

The day began with a rather annoying drive up a hill just south of the equator as Kerbol set on the horizon.

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Which meant that, after I had stopped to recharge the batteries, it was night. Night driving isn't a problem for the Odyssey, however, because, as I'm sure you've noticed by this point, I never even have the solar arrays extended anymore. Even when all six of them were fully aligned towards the sun. they only managed to put out a measly 5 or 6 units of EC per second anyways, barely more than the Odyssey's onboard RTGs already provide and far from being anywhere near enough to overcome the massive power losses when all 28 ruggedized wheels are engaged. And, you know, there was the fact that half of them were broken and they were a serious liability every time I wanted to drive on terrain where the slope was changing constantly. 

I managed to get some pretty crazy speed going in the hills though:

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I later planted a flag to mark the location  of the boring area, which I couldn't even be bothered to come up with a name for at the time. And I'm not going to think of a good one now, so I'm just going to call them the Stale Hills.

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With nothing better to do, really, I just drove straight through terrain scatter for fun.

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Ribrim Kerman: "Boulder up ahead. Adjust attitude."

Germund Kerman: "Roger."

Germund Kerman: "Huh, that's weird. The steering's locked up."

Ribrim Kerman: "Brace for impact!"

*Odyssey passes through the boulder as if nothing were there*

Germund Kerman: "What the-- did we miss the boulder? Are my eyes playing tricks on me?"

Ribrim Kerman: "Some things about this place, I swear."

Not long after this, I passed through a small mountain range, and was relieved when I found a mountain pass to go over and make the ascent a little less tedious. The pass had an elevation of 4,000 meters, but I'm almost certain the surrounding mountains would have been over 5,000.

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I then took the opportunity to do a little jump before calling it a day a little further down south.

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May or may not have broken a bunch of wheels, too.

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DAY 13: A LOAD OFF

Driving Session:

Spoiler

I didn't travel terribly far on day 13. Today was the day that I ran out of repair kits, as I had been predicting that I would for some time now. That means that the resupply mission is a go, at least when the next Jool transfer window arrives, that is. Ignoring that, however, let's get on with the session.

The first leg of this drive was more hills, which I was growing pretty tired of by this point. I probably would find driving through them more fun in a smaller and more capable rover, but with something as big and having as little uphill climbing ability as the Odyssey, they're just annoying to deal with.

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And things were about to get a whole lot harder, as I was now approaching that rugged region of Tylo that I'd been looking at in the map view for a while now. At about 30 degrees south latitude, the elevation started increasing rapidly, and that's when I planted a flag marking the start of the Heff Mountains.

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Which wasn't made any better by the fact that, of course, I was about to be bingo for repair kits. Not long after, I had to use the last two to fix another wheel failure.

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Bill Kerman: "Welp. That's it. We've officially run out of repair kits."

Ribrim Kerman: "A tragedy that could have been so easily avoided, too."

Germund Kerman: "Alright McRib, I've had it with your blame game. You think I am some kind of super-Kerbal who can never make a mistake?"

Ribrim Kerman: "No, but-"

Germund Kerman: "Bill? Jack? Sid? What about them, are they?"

Ribrim Kerman: "No sir."

Germund Kerman: "Then quit your complaining. We are doing our best. Do I make myself clear?"

Ribrim Kerman: "Yes Commander."

Germund Kerman: "Thank you."

After this argument, Ribrim, frustrated, hatched an idea to maybe help things move along a little better. The Mountaineer rover was just sitting there in the garage, useless as the garage's roof was now firmly clipping into its cab. It was merely dead weight that would only serve to slow the Odyssey down and make vertical ascents harder. Getting rid of it would reduce the Odyssey's mass from 71 tons to 67 tons, a considerable difference. The mission to climb to the highest peak on Tylo was cancelled now, anyways. The Mountaineer didn't need to be used again. 

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Once he'd regained his confidence, Ribrim floated the idea to Bill, who relayed it to Germund. Germund was more than happy to approve of the idea.

Bill Kerman: "Hey Germund, I've got an idea from Ribrim about how we could make climbing mountains easier."

Germund Kerman: "As long as it's not more complaining, I'm all ears."

Bill Kerman: "He's asking for authorization to jettison the Mountaineer. It's just sitting there in the garage, dead weight. The mission to Tylo's highest peak was cancelled long ago."

Germund Kerman: "Shouldn't we keep it for the extra electricity and habitat space?"

Bill Kerman: "Dumping it would reduce our mass from 71 tons to 67 tons, thereby giving us 6% more uphill climbing ability. This will prove crucial in the mountains to come."

Germund Kerman: "Sounds.. like a plan. Tell him he can proceed with it."

And so it was. The Mountaineer was undocked from the garage with the garage roof clipped into it, which caused some.. amusing results. 

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It must've flown 50 meters up into the sky before gravity finally pulled it back down again. Here's a screenshot of it in mid-flight.

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The thing then landed with a thud about 100m away from the Odyssey, and was surprisingly mostly left intact.

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Once I'd performed this rather amusing stunt, I drove the Odyssey a little further to the south before stopping. The next log will see the transfer and arrival of the supply drops and KSS Hampton. Only going to have to put the mission on hold for 3 years, no big deal, right?

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DAY 14: THE PACKAGE ARRIVES

The Resupply Mission:

Spoiler

Day 14 was solely dedicated to getting the KSS Hampton and supply drop to Tylo. I started the session with a 1-year time warp, waiting until an adequate transfer window to Jool, before I fired up the Hampton's engines for its transfer burn. It was a rather beautiful sight seeing Kerbol so large and bright in the sky, as I had now spent so long out at Tylo that I'd forgotten how much bigger it looks from back home on Kerbin. Corhat and Aldbin Kerman were tasked with piloting the vehicle and retreiving the crew of the Odyssey in Tylo orbit once the ascent vehicle had been launched, making for a total of 16 crew members, or the full capacity of the MK3 passenger module at the bow of the Hampton.

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Once the Hampton's ejection burn had been completed, it was time for the resupply probe to perform its transfer to Jool as well, which went off without a hitch.

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Once the ejection burns had been completed, it was time to let both spacecraft coast for about 1 year before performing a mid-course correction to put them both on a trajectory to intercept Tylo for a gravity assist. What you're seeing here is the gravity assist trajectory for the resupply probe, followed by the Hampton's trajectory in the next screenshot. For those of you who don't know, there is a specific point at which you should aim to approach Tylo for maximum efficiency, that being right before or after your periapsis. Once you've gotten this encounter, just fiddle around with the "Normal" node until you get an orbit with low relative inclination to Tylo, so you can encounter it again later on for orbital insertion.

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Both spacecraft then continued on their journey towards Jool without any further complications.

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Since the resupply probe was slated to reach Jool first, I then switched over to it to watch its approach to Tylo and perform some last-minute adjustments.

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At this point, I decided that I would simply put the resupply probe directly into a Tylo orbit right now, as I had plenty of delta-V to spare for a landing. The probe was put into a polar orbit in order to make the landing easier, as I would simply have to just wait for the Odyssey's location to pass under the probe's orbit.

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Once things were lined up, it was time to land the probe on Tylo. At this point, I still had about 3000 m/s of delta-V remaining, meaning that I could afford to be inefficient. During my descent, I wasted a considerable amount of fuel radialing out in order to keep my trajectory from undershooting the landing site, but this ended up paying off in the end. I have to say, despite the difficult driving it makes for, the mountainous region that the Odyssey was having to make its way through was quite rich in scenery.

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I then successfully landed the probe, about 400m from the Odyssey.

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Elated, the crew of the Odyssey scrambled to meet the probe and drove over within minutes.

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Siddous Kerman: "I see the resupply probe! It's coming in for a landing!"

Germund Kerman: "Wait for it.. easy.. Touchdown!"

Once the Odyssey had driven over to meet the probe, Ribrim Kerman got out and began collecting the repair kits.

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And, of course, planted a flag to commemorate the occasion. After 3 years of sitting around, it was finally good to get things moving again.

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Transferring all of the repair kits to the Odyssey's cargo containers took quite some time, however, as a Kerbal can only carry up to 8 at one time, while the container held a total of 96, which meant twelve trips in total. Reminded me of getting groceries out of the car, in a way, although if you're anything like me, you try to take everything back into the house in one go. That's it for today's log, stay tuned for Part 15!

DAY 15: MOUNTAINEERING

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 15 was the day that I finally powered through the mountain ranges. I started by leaving the resupply probe behind at its landing site and continuing my drive southward. This also meant going downhill a little to avoid the worst of the mountain range that the Odyssey was currently traversing.

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Once I'd driven around the ridge, however, I realized that I would have to take even more of a detour than I previously anticipated, as ahead of the Odyssey lay an incredibly steep, tall slope. So that was obviously a no-go. I initially tried going above it by taking the mountain pass to its left, but this seemed to be more effort than it would be worth.

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And so it was back to descending. The route I would now be taking would take me through a large, flat valley, after which I would attempt to drive the Odyssey up into the mountains again through a narrow pass that I discovered later. (in this screenshot it is currently hidden by that jagged mountain to the right of the flagf). The valley itself had some pretty neat scenery, and I surely wouldn't mind setting up a base here at some point.

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Speaking of flags, here's the screenshot of Germund Kerman planting it, marking the halfway point between the equator and Tylo's south pole. That's 5/8 of the mission complete!

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I then drove along the right edge of the valley, hugging the mountains to minimize the distance I would have to drive.

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With this strategy, however, came the downside of the sun being blocked out by the mountains, and, of course, the steep terrain that I was now having to desperately try and maintain traction on.

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After a recharging stop and waiting until Kerbol rose the next morning, I continued the Odyssey up the mountain pass, which you can see here. I'm glad this pass exists, as the summit elevation of it is already over 9,400 meters. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that that jagged mountain to its right is easily over 11 kilometers tall. The view from up there would certainly be quite something, though.

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Once I was almost at the summit of the mountain pass, I passed by another floating boulder. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure why I bothered to screenshot this, as floating boulders are no longer really anything special to me.

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I then finally summited the mountain pass at an elevation of 9,368 meters, even higher than Mt.Kerlington, the mountain that I took the Mountaineer rover up near the beginning of the mission. The elevation of that mountain was 9,317 meters, by comparison.

Ferwise Kerman: "9,368 meters? We're higher than Mount Kerlington!"

Tomson Kerman: "Yeah, we are, aren't we? The terrain back there was a lot steeper than here, though."

Jack Kerman: "Not as difficult, that's for sure. Driving this thing up slopes is like trying to climb a rock wall with sandbags tied to your legs."

My triumph was short-lived, however, as ahead of me lied even more uphill slopes, with a steep downhill before the uphill itself. Fun times ahead.

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The climb up this section was even more difficult than the previous climb, with the Odyssey almost becoming stuck at one point in a part of the terrain that sloped upward on all sides. However, I did eventually summit the ridge, and this one was even higher, with an elevation of over 9,700 meters. I called it Fortitude Ridge to convey the difficulty of climbing it.

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Once I'd summited, however, the terrain was relatively flat, with a few more hills here and there.

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And it wasn't long before I reached an elevation of over 10,000 meters for the first time, complete with strange visual bugs! Seriously, though, I have no idea what is going on here, and I've never seen anything like it. Can someone explain this to me?

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I finally reached a maximum elevation of 10,646 meters. I then got the idea to check the seismometer to see if the gravitational acceleration up here was significantly less than down at lower elevations, and it was noticeably lower, at 0.773 g. For comparison, the gravity at Tylo's datum level (0m altitude) is 0.8g, a difference of about 3.4%. Combined with the strange visual bugs, this fact made Tylo's highlands somewhat of an interesting place to me.

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Although that interest was replaced with annoyance once the visual bugs got worse, and eventually the terrain started flickering from being completely black to normal lighting several times per second. I don't even have epilepsy, but the flashing was genuinely making me uncomfortable. I then tried saving and reloading the save to see if that would fix the issue, but doing this did not help at all.

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Not long after this, I drove the Odyssey back down from the mountain peaks before calling it a day.

DAY 16: TOWARDS THE SOUTH POLE

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 16 saw relatively tame terrain in comparison with the previous days of mountaineering. As such, I was able to cover a lot of ground during this drive, and almost made it to the south pole of Tylo. I started by making my way down from the mountainous region that I last left the Odyssey in, which went off without too many difficulties, save for me having to drive down a rather steep incline at the start of it all.

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And then doing another little jump into another steep downhill like a madlad. Germund was getting a little impatient by this point, and as such began to stretch the rules for what could be considered as "optimal driving".

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This approach actually paid off, however, as I was able to progress through the highlands at breakneck speed once the terrain flattened out a little. Here you can see that sheer, almost cliff face behind me that I had just driven the Odyssey down at the time.

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Jack Kerman: "Alright Germund, I'm normally on board with fast driving and risky maneuvers, but looking back at that cliff we just drove down, don't you think that was a little TOO risky?"

Germund Kerman: "Maybe so. Must not have been that risky, however, as we're still going just fine."

Ribrim Kerman: "Alright, that's enough. I don't want to argue with you again, Germund, but just be a little more carful, OK?"

Germund Kerman: "Fair."

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The highlands that I'd driven down into were pretty pleasant to drive across, and I took the opportunity to plant a flag there. I named the area the "Odyssey Highlands", in reference, of course, to the Odyssey mission itself. 

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I then continued making my way south at a pretty good pace, passing through a crater which I called "Austral Crater", being the opposite of the "Boreal Crater", which I encountered near the North Pole. The drive here wasn't terribly interesting, so I didn't bother taking many screenshots.

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A little while after this, however, I caught my first glimpse of what I believe is the south pole; similarly to the north pole, there was a specific spot on the surface from which a bunch of "rays" were emanating. In addition, the immediate area was considerably lower than its surroundings.

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As I got closer, I was able to confirm my suspicions. The navball was also pointing directly south when I turned towards the area, so that pretty much confirmed beyond any shadow of a doubt that this was in fact Tylo's south pole.

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As I got closer, I also planted a flag marking 75 degrees south latitude.

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Map of my progress:

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DAY 17: THE SOUTH POLE OF TYLO

The South Pole Debacle:

Spoiler

Day 17 began with me continuing my drive towards the south pole from about 85 degrees south latitude. The only problem was, however, that in order to get to the pole itself, I would have to go uphill almost non-stop for over 50 kilometers. In fact, nearly the whole area surrounding the pole sloped upwards very gently, which presented a little bit of a nuisance for the Odyssey

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Not long after leaving where I had left off, however, I spotted Jool on the horizon for the first time in more than 10 days. For the crew of the Odyssey themselves, it had been over 3 in-game years since they'd last seen the majestic planet. It slowly began to rise on the horizon as I continued southwards, almost looking like a green lump on the horizon at first.

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Siddous Kerman: "Uh, Germund, I'm seeing a strange green lump on the horizon. What's going on?"

Ferwise Kerman: "Germund's currently sleeping in the right Hitchhiker. Could it be the Kraken, dude? I heard that thing supposedly lives on one of these Joolian moons."

Siddous Kerman: "I don't know. Wait, I do know! It's Jool, of course! It's been so long since I last saw it that I forgot what it looked like! Take a look outside, everyone!"

Anfrod Kerman: "It's beautiful. I forgot how mesmerizing Jool's clouds were."

Bill Kerman: "It really is. We should get out and plant a flag to commemorate this moment."

Jack Kerman: "Sounds good. I'll stop the rover here. There's a flat tire you should repair too, while you're at it."

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Seeing Jool for the first time in ages certainly gave me a boost of motivation to continue towards the pole, seeing as we were now within such a short distance of it.

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As the Odyssey neared the south pole, more and more of Jool became visible. In addition, the terrain really started to get crazier as we got closer, with a bunch of spiky hills becoming visible to my right.

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Once I was within a few kilometers of the pole, the terrain began sloping downwards into the canyon where the pole was located.

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Jack Kerman: "There's certainly some bizarre stuff going on with those hills. How do hills even get that spiky, anyway?"

Bill Kerman: "I have no idea. Didn't we see these at the north pole, too?"

Jack Kerman: "Yeah, I think so. That place was way crazier than this, though."

Kevin Kerman: "Don't remind me."

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Eventually, the terrain became too steep for me to continue downwards with the Odyssey, as if I did this I would not be able to drive it back out of the canyon. I stopped the rover about 700m from the south pole. The pole itself is that little spot where four "lines" meet- just to the right of the center of the image.

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Seeing as there was no apparent safety risk to walking to this pole on foot, Germund Kerman himself disembarked from the Odyssey to go and plant a flag at the south pole. Kevin was pretty relieved that he wouldn't be the one doing the walking this time.

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As Germund got closer and closer to the pole, the camera angle started changing, as happened back at the north pole. This was pretty disorienting, but nothing I couldn't handle.

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Once Germund actually set foot on the pole itself, however, he turned over 90 degrees, as if the game thought the surface was entirely vertical.

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Germund Kerman: "Approaching the pole now. There don't appear to be any anomalous effects here."

Kevin Kerman: "Noted."

Germund Kerman: "Woah! I just spun upwards and hit my head! What just happened!"

Kevin Kerman: "That must be the pole, as the flag I planted at the north pole got put sideways for some reason. You okay?"

Germund Kerman: "Yeah, I'm fine. I'll try and stand on it again."

Which apparently enable me to gain x-ray vision and see through Tylo. 

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When Germund did eventually get around to planting the flag, it was planted sideways a few meters away from him. This is pretty much exactly what happened back at the north pole, although the flag there wasn't so far away from Kevin.

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A very dizzy Germund Kerman then made his way back up to the Odyssey a few minutes later. The Odyssey then took some time to recharge its batteries before leaving the south pole for Zenith Crater. However, I wouldn't be able to go directly there, as there was a giant cliff face in the way. Thus, I had to take a detour around it through the canyon, which turned out to be quite scenic.

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Once I'd gotten back on course, it was pretty much just "drive straight towards Jool" for the next hour or so. With many beauty shots, of course.

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Once I'd gotten to about 83 degrees south on the other side of the pole, I decided to end the session. Only 900 or so more kilometers to go!

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DAY 18: DETOUR

Driving Session:

Spoiler

The detour from the south pole continued today as I finally drove the Odyssey all the way around the cliff face and continued driving north. However, since I was now so far east of my targeted longitude, I couldn't just drive due north, as this would put me very far away from the Ascent Vehicle once I reached the equator again. As such, I drove slightly westward, gradually reducing my longitude. Even without the navball, I could have figured out where I was supposed to be going by using Jool as a reference point, considering that at my initial landing site, Zenith Crater, Jool is directly overhead. Before too long, however, Ribrim had to get out and fix a flat tire.

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Also of note was the fact that Laythe had now become visible above the horizon, although I didn't notice it until a lot later than I should have thanks to the fact that its dark coloration makes it blend in with the black of space pretty well at great distances. Perhaps if I had some visual mods installed I would have seen it sooner, but I am not using any mods whatsoever at the moment, as I want my entry in the Elcano Challenge thread to be classified as entirely stock. 

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I then continued my planned drive northwest, passing through more hills and by more boulders.

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Before too long, though, the Odyssey ran out of electricity, and I had to spend several hours recharging it. During that time, however, Laythe and Vall both moved onto the same side of Jool as Tylo, making for an incredible view of both. Maybe I'll crop this screenshot and save it as a screensaver later. In fact, can we just take a moment to appreciate how much better the Kerbol system looks now compared to just a couple years ago? For one, Jool actually looks like a real gas giant now, and all planets have received significant visual improvements to their surfaces. Before the visual updates, Jool looked more like a giant space watermelon than an actual gas giant, and Tylo's surface was super low resolution. 

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Siddous Kerman: "Jool and Vall sure are something to behold, aren't they?"

Bill Kerman: "Yeah, they really are. I swear they used to look different, though. At least last time I was here, they did."

Siddous Kerman: "How would they change their appearances in a Kerbal lifetime? You must be imagining it."

Bill Kerman: "Yeah, you're probably right. Jool and Vall have always looked this way."

A little later, I stopped to plant another flag, seeing as my detour had been completed and I was now back to about zero degrees longitude.

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The Odyssey then continued northbound towards the celestial trio in the airless skies.

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I then had to go back up into some hills, which took some time to cross. They were nothing too challenging, though, at least not compared to the 10,000 meter high mountains the Odyssey somehow scaled a few days back.

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After yet another stop to recharge the Odyssey's batteries, Kerbol began to rise on the horizon.

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After this, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the session into a basin that I called Hampton Basin, in reference, of course, to the KSS Hampton, the ship that both redirected an asteroid and is now coming to retrieve the Odyssey's crew once their mission is complete. The Hampton is still currently about 1 million kilometers from Jool, and will arrive for its Tylo gravity assist in a couple of weeks. Unlike the resupply probe, however, it probably won't do a direct orbital insertion, as its thrust-to-weight ratio is far lower, meaning that this would be highly inefficient. Given that it's the crew's literal only way home, Kevin felt pretty thankful for it and decided to name the basin after it.

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DAY 19: NORTHBOUND

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 19 was a really short one for driving. This was mainly because I was pretty tired during the whole session, and decided to stop after only just over an hour. There were also a lot of mountains and other nonsense to deal with, which further served to make me stop sooner. It was also today that I noticed just the extent of the wear and tear present on the Odyssey. Of course, the garage's roof was blown off when I got rid of the Mountaineer to save weight, but there are more things than that to consider. The floor and roof of the interior are both now very uneven, and the storage containers inside somehow became crooked- ? Regardless, the Odyssey isn't looking so good, and I don't know how much more of this it can take. 

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Apparently a little more, at least, as Bill had to repair a wheel for the umpteenth time. Bill has now more or less taken over Ribrim's role as the prime wheel repair expert, as Ribrim just got tired of it and Germund got sick of his constant complaints about the wheels.

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The Odyssey then continued on, passing over some more rolling hills before it came to its next major obstacle, another mountain range.

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It was at this point that I made a critical mistake: I let the Odyssey drive from a downhill into a steep uphill, resulting in the destruction of two more wheels. Since I hadn't quicksaved in a while, I decided not to reload the save and continued on regardless. However, the fact that the Odyssey now had only 23 of its originally 28 wheels would make climbing hills much more difficult, which certainly didn't bode well for what was ahead. I planted a flag marking the site of the incident. Not too long after this, however, I made a mistake that broke 4 wheels, which is when I decided to quit for the day. 

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DAY 20: PRESSING ON

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 20 was another boring one, with only 5 screenshots to boot. Not really much to see here.

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At last, however, I was finally within 500 kilometers of my ultimate goal of a total circumnavigation. I planted this flag at about 47 degrees south latitude, as Tylo's circumference is 3,768 kilometers (600*6.28), meaning that 47 degrees of the 360-degree circle equates to about 500 km.

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DAY 21: THE FINAL OBSTACLES

Driving Session:

Spoiler

Day 21 was the penultimate day of driving for this mission, and it saw me cover quite a great distance, going all the way from 42 degrees south latitude in the mountains all the way to just 14 degrees south. I attribute this to the extremely flat nature of the terrain for a good portion of the leg, as well as the fact that I was starting to get pretty eager to just finish the mission. The drive started off with the Odyssey passing through some more highlands, which should have been easy to drive, but was actually kind of difficult thanks to how many wheels it's lost; the Odyssey is now down to just 22 of its initially 28 wheels.

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I then came to a mountain that I would inexorably have to climb up, and I thought doing so would be very tedious and annoying, as mountains had been for the entire mission by this point. However, I got an idea: there was a bowl-shaped valley just before the mountain that I could ride the wall of to pick up speed, and then use that speed to just brute force my way up the hill. Suprisingly, I hadn't seen this sort of formation on other mountains before, giving me a unique opportunity to try this tactic out.

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Germund Kerman: "Well, here we go again. Another uphill I've got to swtichback all the way up."

Bill Kerman: "Yeah, nothing you can really do about that, though. And the downhill before it won't help us in the slightest."

Germund Kerman: "Wait a minute. The valley has a wall with a slight downhill that we can ride to gain speed!"

Bill Kerman: "Are you suggesting that we slam into an uphill at full speed? Nothing good has ever come out of that!"

Germund Kerman: "No, no. We'll take it at an angle along the valley wall, and we will aim for the shallower part of the uphill."

Bill Kerman: "That sounds like a plan."

Germund Kerman: "Alright then. Get ready for some speed, everyone!"

And it worked brilliantly. The Odyssey sped towards the uphill at over 50 m/s, picking up speed with each passing second. Then, the rover ran into the steep uphill slope, which it forced its way up using the momentum it had acquired from riding the edge of the valley. I honestly don't know why I didn't try this more in the past; I seem to just default to switchbacking whenever I come to a steep hill, not realizing that I can just power up it if I'm already going fast enough.

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The Odyssey then summited the crest of the ridge at 28 m/s, still half as fast as it was going when it initially hit the uphill.

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Unfortunately, after this ridge was another steep uphill, which I wouldn't be able to do the same thing on as there was no downhill slope to ride before hitting it. I begrudgingly did a couple switchbacks before making it to the top of the mountain pass. Eventually, though, I reached the summit, where I planted another flag, labeled "Ingenuity Pass". 

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Leaving the pass was fairly straightforward, just a little bit of caution required to not pick up too much speed on the downhill. Downhill slopes on Tylo are actually really dangerous if you're not paying attention: since Tylo has high gravity, your rover accelerates very quickly downhill, meaning that you can be going 20 m/s one second, and be going 60 m/s after looking away for five. Really gotta keep your finger on the B key at all times.

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The area immediately to the north of the mountain pass was fairly pleasant to drive across, with very few obstacles to worry about. There was even a slight downhill slope, meaning that maintaining high speed was not an issue.

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Then, the terrain began to slope downwards again into a large open flat. This flat was pretty fun to drive across, as it kept sloping down slightly to very low elevations, meaning that I was able to absolutely scream across it in just 15 minutes or so. The initial slope down into the flat was fairly bumpy, however, so I didn't push my luck there.

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Once the terrain was truly flattened out, however, I drove the Odyssey across it at breakneck speed. 60... 65... 70... 75... 80 meters per second!

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The rover topped out at 84 m/s, or just under 188 miles per hour. I have to say, I did not expect such a large rover, a "Walmart Supercenter on wheels" as @18Wattput it, to drive at speeds comparable to a Formula 1 car. This marked the fastest speed achieved by the Odyssey during its mission, even faster than the 74 m/s it reached all the way back up at Bonneville Mare near the north pole. Normally I would consider this speed to be absolutely reckless and unsafe, but because of how flat the terrain was, there was really no hazard. Going fast by itself is completely safe; it's what's around you that create the hazards.

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Eventually, though, my joyride ended as the terrain began to slope upwards again. I tried to preserve the high speed by applying the wheel motors, but it turns out that when you're going this fast they just straight up don't engage at all.

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I then had to make my way back up into some hills before the next objective: Elcano Basin, a basin to the south of Zenith Crater. I've decided to call it Elcano Basin, as it's the final major terrain feature I'll be passing through on my Tylo Elcano. Originally, I thought it was a crater, but upon inspection of the terrain, it has far too many hills within it to be one, and so I'm just going to call it a basin instead. And guess what going back up into the hills means? You guessed it, more broken wheels. This will be the last time I mention them, I promise.

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Once I'd reached Elcano Basin, I planted a flag there to mark the location and mention that it was the Odyssey's last major mission objective.

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I then did a little bit more driving before deciding to end it there, as it was getting very late. I wanted to continue the drive all the way back to the landing site, but it was already 2 AM and I don't think my roommate would have been too happy with me if I ended up keeping him up all night.

DAY 22: HOME STRETCH/MISSION COMPLETE

Finishing the Drive:

Spoiler

Day 22 was the long-anticipated final day of my circumnavigation mission. I have been very eager to get this mission finished and move on to other things in KSP for a while now, and now that I was within 200-ish kilometers of my goal, my motivation was running at an all-time high. However, I still needed to complete said 200-kilometer drive through some rolling hills and over a crater rim, which would be made somewhat difficult by the fact that the Odyssey had now lost several of its wheels. To start with, I decided to extend the solar arrays for the first time in almost two weeks for a little extra power and range, as if they were to break off now it wouldn't really be a big deal. It's also in this photo that you can see just the extent of the Odyssey's gradual deformation over the course of the drive; at the start of the mission, all of the small wing panels were as high as the one up front by the passenger cabin, it had 6 more wheels, 3 more solar arrays, and, of course, the rover garage actually had a roof and a rover inside. The back ends of the nacelles (behind the service bays) were also looking pretty droopy. I doubt I could have driven the Odyssey much further even if I wanted to.

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I also planted a flag where I thought would be approximately 200 km from the Zenith Crater landing site.

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I didn't take any more screenshots for the first 100-ish kilometers of the final leg of the journey, as it was more boring driving up gentle slopes and rolling hills. After about half an hour, however, I finally saw what I had been waiting to see for days now: the location marker for the first flag I planted on the mission, labeled "Elcano 1: The Starting Line".  This meant that I was now within 100 kilometers of completing the Elcano Challenge.

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I also happened to spot a piece of debris orbiting overhead, which must have been the spent transfer stage for either the Odyssey itself or for its skycrane.

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I then continued on towards the Zenith Crater Rim.

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As I made my way up the crater rim, I began to get reminded of my initial exit of the crater through its northern rim, which had been the first major obstacle I had to overcome with the Odyssey. That ascent had ended up being one of the most difficult of the entire mission, and had set a precedent for what climbing mountains in general was going to be like. This ascent, however, was pretty tame in comparison, with the rim only going up to about 2,400 meters through a small mountain pass that I took the Odyssey through.

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I then decided to call the mountain pass "Jack's Summit", naming it after Jack Kerman (and myself, I guess).

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Germund Kerman: "Well, that's it. We've summited the crater rim. Our last climb of the mission."

Jack Kerman: "Sure is a sight to behold. I like this mountain pass that we're in, we should name it."

Germund Kerman: "Go right ahead, then. KSC likes to have us name features on planets since they seldom do it themselves."

Jack Kerman: "Hey Tomson! You gotten any better at naming things? We're trying to think of a name for this mountain pass!"

Tomson Kerman: "Why don't you call it Jack's Summit? I don't think we've named anything after you yet."

The view from the top of the crater rim was also quite a sight, with me being able to see a huge portion of Zenith Crater.

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Once I'd made my way down the crater rim again, I looked back at it after driving some distance.

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Driving through the crater floor itself was a pretty trivial matter, and it was among the easiest parts of the entire drive. I guess I can view it as a bit of a reward for all the crazy mountain climbing I did over the course of the circumnavigation.

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10 kilometers to go!

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Once I'd gotten within about ten kilometers of the landing site, however, I remembered something: I still hadn't scanned one of those dark rocks that scatter the surface, and I wanted to scan at least one before I left Tylo. (I thought about scanning the small rocks as well, but then I remembered how much trouble they had caused me over the course of the mission and decided not to just to spite them.) Of course, it was completely pointless, seeing as this mission was being done in a sandbox save, but I still wanted to do it anyway.

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I also got scientist Rongee Kerman to go out and climb the rock, as it was pretty much the only semblance of a "hill" in this area.

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After this rather pointless excursion, I continued driving the Odyssey to its final destination. Before long, Germund caught his first glimpse of the Tylo Ascent Vehicle in the cupola window.

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Germund Kerman: "There it is! I see the ascent vehicle. We are now within two kilometers of completing our mission!"

Ribrim Kerman: "I can't believe it!"

Jack Kerman: "I think I can also make out the flag you planted there as well, Germund."

Germund Kerman: "Yeah, you're right! I see it as well!"

The Odyssey then continued to approach its ultimate goal, with the distance from it to the finish line dropping by the second.

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On Year 13, Day 146, at 5 hours, 59 minutes, and 34 seconds, the Odyssey completed its circumnavigation of Tylo. This also equated to roughly 11 PM on November 11. 2021 in real time, although I don't remember the exact time I finished the mission. Regardless, the crew immediately broke out into cheers, and everyone was eager to go on EVA for the celebratory flag planting. A few meters from the original flag, Germund planted another flag, the forty-third and final flag planting of the mission. 

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Germund Kerman: "Here today, I plant this flag, declaring our mission complete! I could not have asked for a better crew to work with and command for the mission. Together, we have done something thought to be patently absurd; we circumnavigated a celestial body outside of Kerbin, and not just any celestial body, but Tylo of all places! I would like to thank every one of you, and everyone back at the KSC for making this mission a reality. We have covered thousands of kilometers, climbed towering mountains, sped through flat valleys... this mission has been a resounding success."

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With that, the crew once again boarded the Odyssey and parked it next to the Tylo Ascent Vehicle, which they would be using to finally leave the rocky moon in mere days. Speaking of the Ascent Vehicle, I don't think I ever showcased it anywhere in this post aside from its landing, so I'll give a quick overview of the design. It is designed to be as lightweight as possible, given the delta-V requirements for a Tylo landing and ascent. Thus, each Kerbal has to board the vehicle through a ladder and sit down in a command seat, of which there are sixteen. However, only fifteen will be taken, as I decided not to fully fill my crew capacity for this mission. The vehicle has three stages, the landing stage (i.e the two side Wolfhound boosters, which it will also use to get some extra kick during its initial liftoff), the main core stage (the Poodle engine stage), and the upper stage (with a single Terrier engine and two small Baguette drop tanks mounted on small hardpoints for higher efficiency). 

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The Return to Kerbin:

Spoiler

Meanwhile, as the crew of the Odyssey was celebrating the completion of their mission, the Hampton was still making its way towards Jool, and was about 700,000 kilometers away, meaning that it would arrive at Tylo in about 15 days' time. I've decided that I won't do a direct Tylo orbital insertion, as this would require more delta-V that it would be worth, even on the optimal trajectory. Since the Hampton has about 3,900 m/s of delta-V to work with, and I want to get it back into a Kerbin orbit once it returns to Kerbin, I've also decided that I won't be putting it all the way down into a low Tylo orbit, and rather the Tylo Ascent Vehicle will have to boost up to an elliptical orbit to rendezvous with the Hampton.

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Around this time, I also remembered that I had made some add-ons to the Hampton during its asteroid capture mission a while ago, which consisted of a bunch of SAS modules. As the Hampton was no longer having to carry a heavy payload around, I decided to remove them from the side cargo bays.

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As the Hampton continued to approach Jool, Corhat and Aldbin Kerman were treated to a great view of the planet and Tylo in their cockpit windows. Even with the MK3 crew module attached to the front of the ship, the MK3 cockpit of the Hampton still made for great IVA views.

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Corhat Kerman: "There it is.. Tylo. I've been eager to get there. I wonder how the crew of the Odyssey has been holding up?"

Aldbin Kerman: "They sent a message out to KSC saying their mission is complete a while ago now. You didn't hear?"

Corhat Kerman: "Wow, really? I should really pay more attention to things.. all this time in space with nothing to do has really gotten to my head."

As the ship approached Tylo for its gravity assist flyby, the moon loomed large and prominent in the cockpit windows. You could even make out some of the features on the surface that the Odyssey had driven through, such as Zenith Crater, Galileo Crater, and the north pole.

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The Hampton whizzed past Tylo at roughly 3000 m/s or so, capturing it into a Jool orbit that would take it inwards to about Laythe level before intersecting with Tylo once again. You can even see Zenith Crater, near the moon's terminator line, from this angle as well, where the Odyssey's crew are patiently awaiting the Hampton's arrival. After this flyby, the Hampton made its way Joolward, coming within about 20,000km of the cloud tops.

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About two days passed before the Hampton encountered Tylo again, this time with the intent to enter orbit around it. 

Mission Control: "KSC to Aldbin. Prepare for Tylo orbit insertion. Ignite the atomic engines in t-minus 10 seconds."

Aldbin Kerman: "Roger. Ignition in 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1.. ignition!"

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The orbital insertion burn went off without a hitch, and before Corhat and Aldbin knew it, they were in an elliptical orbit around Tylo. I decided to bring the Hampton down to a periapsis of about 20 kilometers to make full use of the Oberth effect with my low thrust-to-weight ratio. After the orbit was achieved, I then performed a secondary burn to lower the apoapsis further.

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Back on the surface, the crew of the Odyssey began making their final preparations for their departure. Bill Kerman was in charge of collecting the rock samples and loading them into the ascent vehicle's cargo container. Bill climbed down the ladder of the Odyssey for the final time, and walked over to the ascent vehicle's ladder, gazing up at it with awe.

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Bill then carefully made his way up the ladder, loaded the samples into the cargo container, and took his seat on the top layer of the crew section.

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The rest of the crew soon followed suit, and commander Germund Kerman was last to disembark, powering down the Odyssey's main systems before he did so. Upon stepping away from the vehicle that had taken him so far, he felt a sense of deep pride in it and also a sense of deep sadness that it would be left here, lost to time on the surface of Tylo. It would remain here for presumably millions of years, seeing as there is no atmosphere or extensive geologcial activity on Tylo to degrade it further; only the vacuum of space itself. Perhaps one day a rogue meteoroid would land right on top of the Odyssey and blow it to smithereens, or maybe Kerbals would one day colonize Tylo and return to this spot. turning the Odyssey into a monument or archaeological relic of some sort.. 

The vehicle looked so.. dead, now that the lights had been shut off and everything powered down. There was also extensive deformation to the vehicle's exterior, which Germund hadn't previously taken much notice of, thanks to the fact that the interior was what he saw most often, and inside the floor had become uneven and even developed gaps at places. Several of the rover's wheels were missing, the back end drooped down several feet, and the whole thing just had a very worn look, being covered in Tylo dust. (use your imagination). The once white Hitchhiker modules and MK3 fuselages were now a dark shade of gray towards the bottom that gradually lightened the further you went up. He doubted that it could have driven much further than it already has. The Odyssey had certainly served Germund and his crew well, that's for sure, and now it was time to say goodbye. Germund took one last good look at the behemoth of a rover before walking over to the Tylo Ascent Vehicle and climbing the ladder to his seat. 

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Bill Kerman: "Hey Germund, you alright? You seem a little down."

Germund Kerman: "I'm fine, Bill. Just gonna miss this rover that served us so well. How are we looking for launch?"

Bill Kerman: "I'll definitely miss her too. The Odyssey is quite a fine piece of machinery. We are ready to launch on Mission Control's command."

Germund Kerman: "Excellent."

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Mission Control: "KSC to TAV. Performing final system checks."

Germund Kerman: "Roger."

Germund Kerman: "I sure am going to miss that rover.."

Bill Kerman: "Me as well. I couldn't have asked for a more reliable vehicle on flat ground."

Germund Kerman: "Uphills were a bit of a different story, weren't they?"

(both laugh)

Mission Control: "KSC to TAV. You are cleared for liftoff."

Germund Kerman: "..."

Germund Kerman: "Ready for liftoff. Is everyone securely seated and ready?"

Bill Kerman: "Ready."

Jack Kerman: "Ready."

Ribrim Kerman: "Ready."

(all): "Ready."

Germund Kerman: "We are ready for liftoff. Igniting the Wolfhounds and core Poodle in 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1.. ignition!"

*The Tylo Ascent Vehicle lifts off from the surface of Tylo*

Germund Kerman: "We have liftoff! How is our acceleration looking?"

Mission Control: "You are currently accelerating at 2.5 Gs. Pitching to 80 degrees.... Booster separation in 5..4..3..2..1.. separation."

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The Tylo Ascent Vehicle continued picking up speed, maintaining a near-horizontal attitude to pick up velocity as fast as possible.

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Once the fuel in the main Poodle core had been exhausted, the central core was jettisoned, and the upper stage Terrier engine was ignited, propelling the ascent vehicle the rest of the way into low Tylo orbit. Just before this stage separation, the vehicle screamed over the eastern rim of Zenith Crater, passing just hundreds of meters above the mountaintops. If there were even a lick of atmosphere on Tylo, one could have just about felt the wind of the TAV whizzing overhead at almost Mach 5 (well, Mach 5 in Kerbin terms).

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Once low Tylo orbit had been achieved, the TAV slowly made its way up to an altitude of 30 kilometers, at which point it circularized its orbit. This took quite some time, given that I wasn't able to use timewarp, as KSP doesn't allow you to time warp when you are below a certain altitude and not in a stable orbit. Luckily, physical time acceleration made the ascent a little less agonizing.

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Once the orbit had been circularized, it was time to set up a rendezvous with the Hampton, which was patiently waiting for us in an elliptical orbit. After reaching orbit, the TAV still had about 670 m/s of delta-V remaining, which would be more than enough to set up the rendezvous. 

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Just before the TAV began its prograde burn to put it on course for rendezvous, it passed over its initial landing site back in Zenith Crater. Since the Odyssey was quite a large vehicle, around 30 meters long, it is quite possible that it would have been visible as a tiny speck on the surface at the altitude that the TAV was passing over it at, 30 kilometers. This thought made Germund and Bill pretty sentimental, and they both squinted their eyes to try and catch it as it passed underneath them, but to no avail thanks to the way KSP loads vehicles; you can only see a craft up to 2,250m away. That's what mods like Distant Object Enhancement are for, I suppose. 

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Shortly afterwards, the prograde burn commenced, and the TAV was boosted into an elliptical Tylo orbit.

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A little over an hour later, the TAV and the KSS Hampton approached one another for their rendezvous.

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At this point, I also stopped to look at Tylo on the map screen, and saw that it was now fully encircled by flags, thus serving as a constant reminder of the Odyssey's mission. This is the moment when I truly recognized just how far I'd traveled with the Odyssey, all the way around an entire celestial body. I'd never done anything like this up until this point, with my furthest previous roving mission covering about 300 kilometers, also on Tylo, coincidentally. You can actually see the crescent-shaped mountain range, to the south of which I conducted that mission. The highest mountain I climbed during that mission was about 9,400 meters high, very similar in height to Mt. Kerlington, and I called it Mt. Mainsail. 

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The TAV then proceeded to park itself next to the Hampton's crew module hatch, allowing all 15 crew members to easily perform an EVA over to the hatch. Before leaving Tylo, I had to constantly remind myself to give the engineer kerbals Bill and Ribrim their jetpacks back once the mission was over, as I had removed them so they would be able to carry more repair kits for wheel repairs. If I had forgotten to give them their jetpacks back, they'd just float off into space the second they left their command seats. Corhat and Aldbin Kerman, the pilots of the Hampton, were thrilled to greet the crew members of the Odyssey as they began to come through the airlock, one by one.

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EVA'ing all of the kerbals over to the crew module was easy enough, although the extended solar panels of the upper layer ended up clipping into Rongee Kerman's helmet, and he broke them once he left his seat, which sent him flying a good distance away from the Hampton. After this, once the final kerbal was exiting the TAV, I had him break the remaining solar panel for fun, since the TAV's purpose had been fulfilled and it would shortly be de-orbited anyways.

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Aldbin Kerman: "Aldbin to Germund. Is everyone now safely on board the crew module and clear of the TAV?"

Germund Kerman: "Affirmative. Tell Mission Control that they now have permission to remotely perform the TAV's de-orbit burn."

Aldbin Kerman: "Alright then. KSC, this is Aldbin. Perform TAV's de-orbit burn when ready."

Mission Control: "Understood. Igniting the engine for de-orbit maneuver."

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Once the TAV had been safely de-orbited and smashed into the surface of Tylo at over 2,500 m/s, it was now time to plot a course back to Kerbin. The maneuver I settled on was a burn of about 1,200 meters per second, and it would send me on a course back home. The burn was to be performed on the day side of Tylo when Tylo was passing over Jool's terminator line, in order to best utilize their respective gravity wells and minimize the time I would have to waste floating through space before apoapsis. The final result was a transfer time of just under three Kerbal years.

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The 5-minute long burn was then performed with no complications, and two of my favorite screenshots from the whole mission! I can't put into words really the thought of looking down at a planet and knowing that you managed to drive a rover all the way around it. It's quite something, I'll tell you that much.

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Here you can see the Hampton's trajectory in the Jool system mid-burn to see what I'm talking about concerning the burn itself. Like how you want to burn on Kerbin's day side when you are going sunwards to Moho or Eve, in order to get a trajectory in towards Kerbol from one of Jool's moons without first having to leave its SOI, you want to perform your burn when the moon you are orbiting is over Jool's day side. In addition, you also want to burn when your vessel is passing over the moon's day side, if that all makes sense.

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The transfer home to Kerbin was long and boring, as transfers from Jool to Kerbin normally are, but during this transfer I viewed it as a well-deserved break for myself and the crew from constant roving. In other words, seeing the crew finally return home after such a long and arduous mission felt very satisfying to me.

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About 100 days out from the Kerbin encounter, the Hampton had to perform a slight radial burn in order to get its periapsis closer to Kerbin. Another subsequent burn was done to lower the periapsis to about 85 kilometers just after it entered Kerbin's sphere of influence. Here you can see the trajectory between these two burns.

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The orbital insertion burn around Kerbin took roughly 1,500 meters per second of delta-V to complete, and was the longest burn of the whole mission in terms of time.

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Once this burn had been completed, the Hampton was once again in orbit around Kerbin, this time in a highly elliptical orbit that took it from about 80 km up to 8,000 km, where the crew module was to be detached for re-entry. 

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ROUTE MAP:

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Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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Currently about 1/5 of the way through the circumnavigation, on track to finish it by mid-November at my current pace of a little over 10 degrees latitude per day.  Days 2-5 of the mission log are now out!

Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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On 10/23/2021 at 12:41 AM, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

A little while after this, I noticed a strange visual bug in which the arrows from the "Move" tool were still visible, just suspended there in the sky, following the Odyssey like how a kid thinks the moon follows them in the car.

Quick tip: Engineer on EVA, press “I” to open EVA construction, and then press “1” to put the mode back to Place. That should fix it.

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7 minutes ago, Admiral Fluffy said:

Quick tip: Engineer on EVA, press “I” to open EVA construction, and then press “1” to put the mode back to Place. That should fix it.

Yeah, I figured that out yesterday actually. It’s pretty funny to just see the arrows magically floating in the sky though.

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I like that rover. It's the kind of overengineered stuff that I like to make.

It reminds me my own drive around Tylo, though I stopped at half and didn't make a full Elcano. My rover had similar (lack of) climbing capacity, and it also had a front cupola. Though my rovers had rear-pointing rockets that could help it upslope. You make me want to try another long trek myself again.

 

Regarding difficulty of driving, though, I found Moho to be worse, as it has a much more irregular terrain. Tylo has high gravity, but it's smooth.

The most hellish place to drive, though, is without doubt Slate, from OPM. It has as much gravity as Tylo, but it has a much more rugged surface. Everywhere it's hills, except when it's bigger mountains. Took me hours to run 20 km, and that's with a more capable rover. Slate also has some of the most spectacular views, it's got a past hystory of being shaped by water and it's all valleys and canyons. Not to mention, there's Sarnus with its rings in the sky. If you still want to make another Elcano after Tylo, I definitely recommend going there.

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4 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

 

Regarding difficulty of driving, though, I found Moho to be worse, as it has a much more irregular terrain. Tylo has high gravity, but it's smooth.

That’s what I’ve actually found most surprising about this trip so far: while the driving is really difficult at places (ahem, mountains), it’s actually fairly pleasant otherwise thanks to tylo’s high gravity. Might have to change the description of my log as it’s become apparent that driving on Tylo isn’t actually as difficult as I thought it would be, just very large and thus it takes a long time to drive all the way around.

4 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

The most hellish place to drive, though, is without doubt Slate, from OPM. It has as much gravity as Tylo, but it has a much more rugged surface. Everywhere it's hills, except when it's bigger mountains. Took me hours to run 20 km, and that's with a more capable rover. Slate also has some of the most spectacular views, it's got a past hystory of being shaped by water and it's all valleys and canyons. Not to mention, there's Sarnus with its rings in the sky. If you still want to make another Elcano after Tylo, I definitely recommend going there.

Yeah, that’s gonna be a hard no from me. I may be the “no pain no gain” type, but not THAT much. Regarding OPM however, I might try one on Polta or Wal at some point. In the stock game, however, I think that if I do another elcano it’s going to be either Duna or Eeloo.

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8 hours ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

Yeah, that’s gonna be a hard no from me. I may be the “no pain no gain” type, but not THAT much. Regarding OPM however, I might try one on Polta or Wal at some point. In the stock game, however, I think that if I do another elcano it’s going to be either Duna or Eeloo.

Actually, driving in the mountains is not so bad with the right rover. you just need a higher wheels/mass ratio.

I wouldn't mind doing a slate circumnavigation with this rover:

it can climb uphill very well,  it's almost indestructible all the way to 40 m/s, and it does have an even better cockpit perspective than a cupola.

Granted, it's not as beautiful, it doesn't pretend to have living space. If I were to try a slate circumnavigation, I'd try a more elaborate model with that kind of frame, and more beautification.

Maybe I'll start giving it a try right now

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Quick Update: There probably won’t be another log entry for about a week or so, as I am currently crossing a bunch of rugged terrain, greatly slowing my progress and making for boring writing. The next log will probably be a compilation of the days it took to cross the mountains all the way to the South Pole. I’ve also been spending less time driving the Odyssey in general, since the current leg of the mission is so dull. 

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Update: Logs 12-14 are now out, as I have decided to release them individually as opposed to one big compilation of them all. Turns out you take more screenshots while playing than you think. In addition, Odyssey has now reached the south pole of Tylo, logs of which will hopefully be out within 2 days or so. Here's a little teaser screenshot, I guess.

Spoiler

bi9ShTX.jpg

Finally, I made a little "cover art" for the mission, as I sometimes like to do for highly complex and long-running missions. It's nothing special, really, just made it in photoshop in about an hour and a half. The last time I made one of these was for my Peregrine grand tour mission from last year, in which I visited all planets in the stock system and OPM over the course of 168 in-game years. I never made any forum posts about it, though, as the screenshots I took probably wouldn't explain enough and the mission was done on a potato Mac from 2010 with 720p resolution. Yeah. Glad I finally got a new computer, sure makes things go a lot smoother.

ANeC3Oa.png

Art for the Peregrine mission, if you were curious:

Spoiler

xJOEnJT.png

@AtomicTechIf I do another Elcano challenge in the future, it will most likely be done on Duna, as that is actually where I originally planned to send the Odyssey before eventually deciding on Tylo instead. I'll probably do it with a much more sensible rover, though.

EDIT: I have uploaded the craft file for a new and improved version of the Odyssey 2, the Odyssey 3, on KerbalX. Notable improvements include more struts for better structural integrity, as this has been an issue with the Odyssey 2 which has gotten worse over time, as well as increased electric charge capacity and more wheels for better uphill climbing abilities. There is also a new, smaller Mountaineer rover that is lighter and (hopefully) easier to park back in the garage again.

KerbalX - Odyssey 3

Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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I am proud to announce that the Odyssey's circumnavigation mission has now been completed! After countless hours and almost 4,000 kilometers of driving, I have finally driven a rover all the way around Tylo, which is also the first time I've driven all the way around any celestial body, for that matter. However, I still have to get the crew off of Tylo and home to Kerbin before I can truly call this mission complete or consider submitting my entry to the Elcano Challenge thread. I will update the forum post with images and writing of the completion tomorrow, but for now here's a couple pictures to show that I've in fact made it:

 

Spoiler

wcazHN9.jpg

cmbYxJA.jpg

 

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