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Kilonova- Whirligig World Grand Tour

Jack Joseph Kerman

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48 minutes ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

Kerbmun, which I plan to get back to at the end

That's an interesting routing decision; I probably would have gone to Kerbmun earlier so that the plane could be left at Gannovar.

57 minutes ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

in order to get rid of the Brute 2 and reduce our part count and mass further.

On the other hand, I also see why you want to do this as quickly as possible. That lander has a lot of parts.

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After arriving at Valyr, the Kilonova still had to get into a lower orbit in order to properly deploy the Brute 2 for its landing. While I still ended up using aerobraking to get it to its final orbit before descent, I still wasn't sure if the heat shields could handle the load from a near-escape trajectory like the one I was on without us having to do literally dozens of passes to survive. This orbit wasn't helped by the fact that our orbital inclination was currently upwards of 15 degrees, Luckily, Valyr's largest moon, Oshan, was there to help us out, and thus the Kilonova was able to get quite an effective gravity assist that would take it down to a much lower, equatorial orbit.


About a month later, the Kilonova conducted its flyby of Oshan at a distance of about 740 kilometers. Come to think of it, Oshan bears quite the resemblance to Eeloo in the stock game, the main difference being that it has more varied terrain and bigger mountains, as well as a thin atmosphere.


On the way in towards periapsis, we also came fairly close to Plaph, one of Valyr's minor inner moons, but nowhere near close enough to enter its sphere of influence. The Kilonova still got close enough for a few of the crewmembers to instinctively yell out "space potato", though, that's for sure.


Once at periapsis, we kicked on the engines, or, at least, six of them, as I couldn't use all of the engines thanks to the Brute 2 still being attached to the rear end of the ship. If I had fired all of the engines, much of the thrust would have just been occluded by the lander, wasting loads of precious fuel.


Eventually, after a handful of burns, the Kilonova reached an orbit with an apoapsis near the level of Denna, Valyr's innermost moon. Once this orbit had been achieved, we performed the same maneuver that we had back at Derbin: reduce periapsis to skim the upper atmosphere, in this case 47 km (Valyr's atmosphere starts at 55 km), detach the Brute, turn around and boost back to a stable orbit.


And who to pilot the Brute 2 but Jebediah Kerman himself (or, rather, Jebediah Mesoman, given that Whirligig World presumably takes place millennia after the events of the stock game) to pilot the lander down to the surface and back into an orbit. The first aerobraking pass turned out to not have very much of an impact, only destroying the now redundant docking port and reducing the apoapsis by a couple hundred kilometers.


Understandably, this made Jeb a little impatient, but there wasn't anything he could do about it now.



After what must have been another dozen or so passes, the Brute 2 was finally slowed enough to be brought into a low Valyr orbit, with the final descent conveniently taking place on the day side instead of near the terminator line, like it had looked like it would.


Finally, once the final descent had commenced, Jeb's boredom and impatience turned back into excitement and raw hype. Rather surprisingly, the heat shields actually had a little more trouble descending on Valyr than they had on Derbin, despite the velocity of entry being several hundred meters per second lower. Probably just had something to do with the orientation of the vessel or something, I don't know.


Soon enough, the gees began to build up, reaching a maximum value of around 11 G, not too far off from the 14 G that the Brute 1 pulled on descent to Derbin. However, since we had Jeb in the command pod, and he was a seasoned pilot, he was more than able to take it, and never blacked out.


Before too long, it was time to pop the chutes, which went according to plan. Jebediah gazed out the command pod's tiny window in anticipation as the chutes unfolded around the Brute. 


At least, that is, until he noticed that there was a critical error present in the flotation devices that would keep his ship upright once it had splashed down in the ocean safely. This was a serious issue; without proper flotation, the lander would surely tip over, and he'd be stranded. In order to avoid this fate, he'd have to activate the engines and lift off immediately after splashdown. The least he could do now was to at least jettison the upper heat shields, which he did, although it had unitially been planned that they would be ditched on the surface. But it's not like Jebediah Mesoman wasn't adaptable. The shield separation went off without a hitch, after which Jeb informed the crew of the Kilonova of his predicament and laid out the course of action.


The other pilots back up on the ship, namely Valentina and Gormund, thought the plan was risky, but, then again, it was either try to do that or certainly doom the acclaimed Jebediah Mesoman to a fate of floating in an endless ocean for eternity. It wasn't like they would have much time to think about this, however, as before they knew it, the Brute 2 was just meters from splashdown. Twenty meters... fifteen... ten... five... splashdown..


... and full throttle. And a staging event, too, seeing as the parachutes and flotation assembly still needed to be gotten rid of. After what must have been less than a second in the water, the Brute 2 was already beginning its ascent, with the base being shredded by the four Vector engines and four Aerospikes in a series of fiery explosions. It was now or never, Jeb thought, his heart racing.


The Brute was rather sluggish to ascend in the first few moments, but, before long, it was ascending at nearly half the speed of sound, and the first stage's side boosters were jettisoned. 


The central core continued to rapidly pick up speed, until it too ran out of fuel, and the second stage's Bobcat engine roared to life. However, Jeb had only managed to reach an altitude of 10 kilometers. Things were already not looking great.


But, it's not like there was anything to do but to press on. And so Jeb did, until the second stage was depleted, and the third took its place.


And, finally, the fourth.


However, by this point, it had become apparent that the Brute wasn't going to be able to get Jeb all the way back into orbit, as orbital velocity was over 4,000 m/s.  He'd have to go on EVA and pray that his suit had enough juice to make it happen, much like Billy-Boblan Kerman had done back at Derbin. Except, of course, Jeb's delta-V margins would be much tighter. 

And, sure enough, the Brute ran out of fuel at a velocity of roughly 3,700 m/s.


From that point on, it was all dependent on Jeb's EVA suit.


Which, thankfully, had just enough power to save him from falling back into Valyr's atmosphere to his doom.


Jeb had never felt more exhilarated in all his life. Space travel can get boring from time to time with those years-long transfers, sometimes you need a near-death experience to liven things up a little.


This exhilaration would go back to boredom soon enough, though, as Jeb would have to wait several days before the Hermes ion lander could reach him and transport him back to the Kilonova.

I should also note what the "flotation failure" I made up in the last post to make things more interesting to read was all about: whenever the Brute lander splashed down onto the surface of Valyr, for whatever reason, it started to wobble around, eventually resulting in the whole thing tipping over. I had not seen this happen in testing, and, as such, I thought that the whole thing would do fine. Then again, I also thought that the lander had more than enough delta-V to reach orbit based on testing, and we saw how that went. Just about everything that could have gone wrong with this landing went wrong.


Brute 1 after a failed splashdown attempt, stranded. Trying to activate the engines and start an ascent anyways yielded predictable results.

I should also note that even getting to the surface ended up taking quite a few attempts, as, for some reason, the atmospheric entry on this landing was much more fraught with danger than it had been on Derbin. In fact, on one of the attempts, one of the side boosters overheated and exploded, resulting in me only having three Aerospikes as opposed to four.


Brute 2 on descent, with one of the side boosters missing

And, of course, there were lots of failed heat shield separations, but I feel we probably saw that one coming.


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... or visiting the moons of Valyr. Your choice. 


"So, yeah. Jeb is still stranded in low Valyr orbit. Let's go save him, shall we?", said Valentina.

"Sounds like a good idea.", responded Gormund Kerman. "Deploy the Hermes 1."

And so we're doing just that; using the Hermes ion lander to retrieve Jeb from low Valyr orbit, much like we did to get Billy-Boblan Kerman back from low Derbin orbit, as, while I could have done this with the Kilonova, that would have required a refueling at Denna first, not to mention the absurdly long burn times associated with burning down to a low orbit in such a strong gravity well. So, once again, I've elected to do this instead, even if we do conveniently lose signal every time we need to start our burn. 


Before too long, however (that being a couple of days), the Hermes 1 had reached Jeb, who was slightly excited, to say the least.


From there, it was another series of burns at periapsis and another awkward docking maneuver to get him back to the Kilonova.


Seriously, why did I think putting the docking port on the back end would be a good idea?


Once the cargo bays had been closed up again and Jeb congratulated on his successful failure of a landing, it was time for the Kilonova to set off for Denna, Valyr's innermost moon.


Which, quite fittingly if you read its description, looks like a giant booger.

"Denna is a small inner minor moon of Valyr, discovered by the eccentric astronomer Criswayan Kerman. He is said to have named the small green dot after his young daughter, who was small and green. The fact that Chriswayan Kerman was never known to have had any children, and the fact that Denna is ancient Kerblish for "mucus," is rarely brought up."


Regardless, we still landed on it without difficulty, and got a few nice screenshots out of it, I suppose. The Kilonova wasn't actually going to refuel on Denna, as we still had a good amount of fuel left; instead, we would be doing so on Plaph. I was, however, going to land the whole ship on Denna, as it's so small that the delta-V requirements are tiny, not to mention that getting a lander out and going through the hassle of docking didn't seem worth it to me.



Come to think of it, I'm glad we didn't refuel here, as a large portion of the surface is actually on a steep incline up to a small protrusion facing towards Valyr. I don't think the drills would have even been able to reach the ground if I had attempted to do so.


After visiting this unremarkable and, admittedly kind of funny moon, the Kilonova headed off towards its next target, Plaph, which proved to be much more amenable to landing in terms of slopes. 


And, of course, is shaped like a space potato, which is also appropriate to its name, given that it literally refers to a potato put into a vacuum.

"Plaph is the second minor inner moon of Valyr, discovered alongside Denna by Chriswayan Kerman. In culinary science, Plaph is a special way of cooking a potato, which involves peeling it in a vacuum and then boiling it in high pressure alcohol. Mixing the resulting mush with copious amounts of sugar, freeze-drying it, and shredding it into thin pieces results in a very well known snack treat called a Plaphoglin. For more information, contact the Mesbin Gastronomical Society."

Part of me is genuinely curious if Plaphoglin would be any good. If I had to guess, I'd say probably not, given that you're basically freeze-drying it by placing it in a vacuum. Then again, it's not like I have a vacuum chamber at home to try and make some.


Aside from landing, one thing Plaph was also amenable to was micro-gravity tomfoolery, which Stan and Jack Kerman promptly engaged in.


Flag planting. This has to be one of my favorite shots so far, with both the Kilonova and Valyr in the background. The only thing that would make it better would be a few Kerbals floating around goofily.


After doing the flag planting and setting up the mining equipment, the crew also decided to do a group photo shoot, at least with part of the crew. From left to right: Bob, Bill, Valentina, Jebediah, Stan, Gormund, Jack, Bonnie, and Billy-Boblan Kerman.


Apparently, something about Plaph did not sit quite right with Bonnie Kerman, as she was stuck with this massive frown on her face for several minutes.


After yet another refueling session, the Kilonova gently lifted off from Plaph and began making its way toward Oshan, Valyr's third and largest moon.



In fact, it's almost as big as Duna in the stock game, and has quite a high atmosphere, extending to an altitude of 94 km, albeit one with a low surface pressure. Quite the beautiful place; I'd love to do a more comprehensive mission to the Valyr system in the future just to do more on Oshan.


Once a low orbit of around 100 km had been achieved, it was time to ready the Workhorse lander for deployment, which meant yet more transferring fuel.


Phil Kerman then boarded the lander to prepare for departure, but not before engineer Stan Kerman went out and installed parachutes to make landing significantly less expensive.


Once he'd been given the green light to head off, Phil Kerman began his descent to the surface of Oshan, which, while pretty, took a long time thanks to the fact that Oshan's atmosphere extends up so high.


Chute deployment


Landing and flag planting in a shallow canyon. According to some of the surface science definitions, Oshan once harbored marine life, or, at least, that's what I'm getting from the Surface Sample text. According to the Atmosphere Analysis experiment, the atmosphere also contains quite a bit of oxygen, though not enough to breathe or use jet engines thanks to the low atmospheric pressure.



After mucking about on the surface for a couple hours, Phil Kerman then made his ascent back into orbit, which was carried out somewhat unconventionally to account for the atmosphere.


And then, of course, we docked without using the tug because I'm lazy.


But not before Stan Kerman came back out to remove the top parachute so Phil could dock the Workhorse back inside the cargo bay.


After yet more fuel transferring, and a crew rotation, with Eriney Kerman taking the wheel, the Workhorse then set off for Manonam, Valyr's outermost moon. It's very similar to the Mun in the stock game, with one notable difference being the presence of much lighter colored areas near the poles. It's also quite far out, taking over 80 Kerbin days to make one orbit around Valyr.


And, of course, there's the fact that its name is a palindrome, as, according to its description, in Kerbal mythology Manonam was the son of the sea god Valyr, who was cursed to only be able to speak in palindromes, hence the rather outlandish name of this log.

I could have just swapped this screenshot out with one from orbit of the Mun and you'd never know. Actually you would, given that you can clearly see Kaywell and Limnel as opposed to Kerbol in the background. Dag.


Alright, surely this one would be a little less obvious. In all seriousness though, I actually really like Manonam. It feels real lonely out this far from Valyr, and the two-toned coloration is a nice touch. Oh, and did I mention palindromes? Do geese see God? No lemons, no melon? I think the deed may not have appeared on my kayak's radar at noon. Wow.


I think a much better message to put here would have just been "spell racecar backwards"


Once Eriney Kerman had spent some time on the surface of Manonam and promptly run out of palindromes, it was time to leave for our next target, a tiny asteroid sub-satellite in the vicinity of Manonam called Didd, which is supposedly less than 1 kilometer across.


..and is barely visible in the map view. If one weren't using TAB to go through the planets, you could easily miss it completely.


Upon approaching this curious object, however, I noticed that it was completely black, which would make landing on it especially strange.


Except it actually wasn't pitch-black, at least once I entered its sphere of influence. I'm assuming that KSP has trouble properly providing lighting for celestial bodies this small or something.


Naturally, I then ran a few science experiments, one of which, the EVA Report, claimed that Didd had its own moon- a sub-sub satellite, or "moonmoonmoon", if you will. I didn't see anything of the sort, though.


However, what I Didd find was a green monolith, which, while surprising at first, isn't really so once you consider that every celestial body is supposed to have one green monolith randomly placed on it, which obviously made Didd's incredibly easy to spot. What this monolith did do, however, is make Didd remind me of the Magic Boulder.


Of course, I had to land next to it, which I promptly did.



Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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17 hours ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

Finally, once the final descent had commenced, Jeb's boredom and impatience turned back into excitement and raw hype. Rather surprisingly, the heat shields actually had a little more trouble descending on Valyr than they had on Derbin, despite the velocity of entry being several hundred meters per second lower. Probably just had something to do with the orientation of the vessel or something, I don't know.

That would probably be the more compact atmosphere from the lower temperatures again - as you descend, the atmosphere gets denser faster, giving you less time to slow down before hitting more dangerous parts. Lower temperatures also reduce the speed of sound, which makes your Mach number higher, and increases the shock heating (thus compensating for the lower starting temperatures)


15 hours ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

Naturally, I then ran a few science experiments, one of which, the EVA Report, claimed that Didd had its own moon- a sub-sub satellite, or "moonmoonmoon", if you will. I didn't see anything of the sort, though.

It's a guaranteed specific procedural asteroid, if you don't have them on in your kopernicus settings it won't show up.

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 It is now time for the Kilonova to depart from the Valyr system and head for.. let's say, sunnier pastures. In other words, we're going in closer to Kaywell to the Tyepolbynar system, which consists of the planet and its five satellites. It's very much akin to Jool in the stock system in a lot of ways; gas giant, five satellites, one that's covered in oceans, and more. And yet, in other ways, Tyepolbynar is a whole different beast from stock Jool. For starters, it's a lot more massive; at over 700 times the mass of Kerbin, compared to Jool's 80 Kerbin masses, which, funnily enough, isn't all that much greater than the mass of Mesbin at around 71 Kerbin masses. This means that maneuvering around its system takes a lot of delta-V, something that is made even more challenging by the fact that it possesses a moon, Etrograd, which orbits around the planet in a retrograde direction, opposite from all of the other moons. 


Somewhat of an overview of the system, with Etrograd's retrograde motion visible

But enough rambling, let's actually get there, starting with a year-long interplanetary transfer from Valyr, which itself follows a two-year wait interval.


Once the Kilonova had arrived in the Tyepolbynar system, it also performed a flyby of Tyepolbynar's largest moon, Imterril, in order to get a free capture via gravity assist. It's slightly more massive than Kerbin, and is quite the beautiful world, at least from afar, being covered in a global ocean with swirling clouds and all. On the surface, however, it's a very different story, as we'll soon find out.


Departing Imterril back into Tyepolbynar orbit


Performing a maneuver to set up a second Imterril encounter, this time to enter its orbit.


Orbital insertion. Since Imterril's atmosphere extends up to a whopping 182 kilometers, we have to make do with a periapsis a little higher than I'd like. Oh well, it still beats burning up.


Once a stable orbit had been reached, the crew began making preparations to detach the Imterril  Tartarus lander and send it down to the surface. Derwise Kerman was chosen to pilot the lander, but not before taking in the beautiful views once more. On the surface, he'd have much more pressing matters than taking in views, that's for sure. Also, before the lander could be detached, a reluctantly cozy Kevin Kerman had to be removed from one of its lower lander cans.


Tartarus about to enter Imterril's atmosphere for the final time after "only" three aerobraking passes and a lot of RCS usage to slow down to a safe speed


Beginning to skim the outer atmosphere. The parachute on top was installed by Derwise Kerman after detaching the emptied RCS tug, just before the Tartarus crossed the 182-km atmosphere threshold. Not that I think we'll need it to land, but it'll sure help during ascent, being a lot less drag than an exposed docking port.


Imterril entry. A few of the parts on the bottom of the lander, namely the lander cans and Science Jr. units, came very close to overheating, but I'd already used this lander design in a previous mission to Imterril, meaning that I knew it was reliable. It's not the exact same design, however, as the previous mission also had a small submersible attached, as I was curious as to how deep Imterril's oceans were, or whether they even had a bottom at all, for that matter.


Imterril's oceans are exactly 10 km deep, as Rodrick Kerman found out during my prior mission there. 



However, the most hellish part of this mission arguably wouldn't be the atmospheric entry: it'd be the actual surface itself, which is covered in a superheated steam atmosphere with 15 atmospheres of pressure, keeping the temperature at a nice, balmy 250 degrees Celsius. It's the high pressure that allows the water to stay liquid at such temperatures, even though I'm pretty sure the boiling point of water is more like 200°C at 15 atmospheres.

The chute deployment went off easy, and, as Rodrick Kerman had learned from his last mission, Imterril's atmosphere does not contain any significant quantity of oxygen, as that would almost surely have caused the chutes to spontaneously catch on fire at such high temperatures. The views of Tyepolbynar were surely something to behold, though.


Splashdown into the Boiling Ocean. Without the submersible I mentioned earlier that was present in the last mission, the lander ended up being a bit wobbly, but we managed. There isn't really much to see or do on a place like Imterril, so it wasn't long before it was time to lift off again.


Which, after some final action group checks of the propellers, we did. What I did not notice initially, however, was that the upper parachute was wired to the same stage as the decouplers to jettison the lander's base, and I almost ended up crashing before being able to cut the chute and correct it.




The Imterril ascent was an extremely long, slow process, however, as we were only able to ascend at a rate of 35-40 m/s, which we did until the electricity ran out at an altitude of just over 45 km. The ascent easily took at least 20 minutes, more likely closer to half an hour, to complete.


Propeller separation and engine ignition occurs at an altitude of 45.6 km, at which point the air is thin enough for our thrust-to-weight ratio to be just over 1. Thankfully, although it is even larger than Eve in terms of radius, Imterril doesn't have particularly high gravity, only clocking in at around 0.8 g.


Second stage


Third and final stage


Orbit reached with around 120 m/s of fuel left


After achieving orbit, Derwise Kerman then had to use his EVA jetpack to perform the rendezvous with the Kilonova, which was well within its capabilities.


Boosting into an eccentric Imterril orbit to make getting to our next target, Jifgif, easier for the Hermes 1 ion lander.


Hermes 1, with pilot Jack Kerman on board, departs from the Kilonova and sets off for Jifgif, Tyepolbynar's innermost and hardest to pronounce moon. In total, it has just over 6,000 m/s of delta-V remaining, which I'm hoping will be just enough to get back.


After several retrograde burns at periapsis, the Hermes 1 finally gets an encounter with Jifgif and enters its sphere of influence. Delta-V margins are going to be real tight here, that's for sure.


Landed on one of the outer lobes of Jifgif. Tyepolbynar dominates the sky, taking up a huge portion of Jack Kerman's field of view. The surface is very hot thanks to the low albedo here.


Routine flag planting. You may notice that you can actually see Tyepolbynar through the surface a little bit, as I think Kopernicus has trouble rendering the surfaces of irregularly shaped bodies when you are very far away from the center.


I then performed a secondary landing in the "neck" area between the two lobes of Jifgif, and managed to break a solar panel. Awesome.


Heading back to Imterril now, complete with Limnel interfering with our power supply. With only two solar panels, the Hermes 1 was only able to accelerate by about 300 or 400 meters per second before running out of power and having to wait for another burn.


As it turned out, my delta-V was a bit short, and I ended up having to try and aerocapture at Imterril to be able to enter its orbit again. Rather surprisingly, although the Hermes 1 entered the atmosphere at 3.4 km/s, most of it actually ended up coming out the other end just fine, with the most crucial exception being the solar panels. Oh well, guess I won't be able to use it again, but, then again, I have another.


And beautiful views, too!


Speaking of "another lander", let's go send it out to rescue Jack Kerman, shall we? The orbit he ended up in was not exactly desirable with respect to the Kilonova's orbit, and as such it's going to take a lot of fuel to make it back.



Which, once again, we cut back on by a little bit with some tactical EVA suit usage.


After that slight debacle had been sorted out, it was time for the Kilonova to set off for its next target: Aerious, which is a small, lumpy asteroid moon orbiting quite far away from Tyepolbynar. As you can probably guess, this makes it ideal for refueling, which is exactly what we set out to do.



Orbital insertion burn. That north pole looks like it would be a fun place to land near, and try to stand on the very top with a Kerbal.


Up close, it appears to be even more so. I must find out exactly how tall it is.


Intrigued, I promptly set the Kilonova down in the vicinity of the anomalous spire formation, and took a few surface samples.


Which were practically scorching according to our thermometer.


Given that it had been a long while since they'd last landed the whole ship anywhere, the crew engaged in quite a few shenanigans on the surface.


And, of course, planted yet another MASA flag.


I then had Gormund Kerman, descendant of the planetary rover navigator Germund Kerman, go and jetpack up to the top of the polar spire to see how tall it really was, and, of course, see if he could actually stand on it. For reference, the surface that we are landed on right now has an elevation of about 4,500m.

At 8,700m, the spire still seemed to extend into infinity above Gormund.


The very top of the spire was located at an elevation of just over 14,800 meters, making it over 10 kilometers tall. However, try as he might, Gormund was simply unable to stand on top of it, thanks in no part to the weird rotating camera effects that one gets when moving around a pole.


*hysterical laughter*


After Gormund had come back down, we began our refueling operations, which only took a few days, as, for once, I'd actually bothered to use the survey scanner and pick a specific landing site with a lot of ore.


Once this had been completed, the Kilonova departed, leaving the strange, spiny world behind.


Getting to our next target, Etrograd, would prove to be a challenge, because, as I mentioned, it orbits Tyepolbynar in the opposite direction from all the other moons, meaning that we have to completely reverse our orbit just to get there, and do it all over again to get back, which is something that the Kilonova probably doesn't have the delta-V to do directly. To solve this, I originally tried to get an Imterril gravity assist that would lower my orbit, but it was uncooperative, and, besides, it would never have been enough to completely reverse it without just flinging me straight into Tyepolbynar anyways. I then considered getting the ship to an orbit near Etrograd and simply detaching the lander to fly it there and back, but that would also still take too much delta-V.

So, in the end, I decided that I would land the entire ship on Etrograd, as its gravity is just over 0.1g, something that the Thud engines can lift us off the ground in as long as we don't refuel all the way. But first, we'd have to reverse our orbit and get there, something I made easier by first boosting into an orbit with an apoapsis just kilometers from the edge of Tyepolbynar's SOI.


Even at this distance, orbital velocity was still over 1.3 km/s, and reversing our orbit took over 2,500 m/s of delta-V. 


Performing the orbit reverse burn. Here, you can see how far away we are from Tyepolbynar, as well as, if you look closely, Shol, which appears as a tiny black dot to the right of Kaywell. 


Before I completely reversed my orbit, however, I decided I might as well stop just short of halfway to do a close flyby of the planet, as well as just barely skim the upper atmosphere for some science reports.



It's up close like this that you can really see that Tyepolbynar does in fact have clouds made of water droplets, just like those on Earth or Kerbin, only presumably much hotter.

And I totally didn't also take the opportunity to just stop the burn exactly halfway and do a belly-flop into the planet at 25,000 m/s.

(Unrelated screenshot)


After completing the orbit reversal burn and making a few more adjustments, we finally had an Etrograd encounter.


It feels like I put in a lot of effort just to get to a lumpier version of the Mun, but that might just be me.


Landing was... difficult, to say the least. Normally, landing on a Mun-like body would be very easy, but with the Kilonova's TWR, and the fact that I had to turn it over to activate the Thud landing engines last second made it feel like I was a new player trying to land on Tylo for the first time.

First attempt. All is going well...


...and then I smashed the Ammenon lander because I brought the nose down too hard.


Rapid Unplanned Dissassembly 2: Michael Bay Edition


Finally, though, after a few attempts, I managed to get the Kilonova down to the surface safely.


We then did the usual: mining, flag planting, and liftoff, which actually went surprisingly well.




Only problem is, I have to go back to Aerious to refuel again before I can continue the mission. Which, given that I couldn't completely refuel, made things a bit difficult. At one point, I didn't have quite enough delta-V, and ended up having to steal fuel from my landers and get rid of one of the drills to make it back to Aerious.


A few other "vestigial" parts: the Brute's docking port assembly


Secondary Aerious flag planting after landing, complete with translucent terrain



Finally, there was only one moon left to visit: Tannor, which is a roughly Moho-sized world that is so reflective, it is able to stay frozen despite being located close to Kaywell. It also has a very thin atmosphere, which I of course used for aerobraking the lander a little.

Getting there wasn't too hard, either.



Transferring yet more fuel


Beautiful view of Tyepolbynar and Tannor from low orbit


Landed, in one of the few flat areas I could find along the equator. Most of Tannor's Equator is covered by a single mountain range, making landing difficult.


A previous landing attempt that failed due to landing on a steep slope in the ditch between two mountains


EVA "science"


Temperature scan revealing the surprisingly cold temperatures found on Tannor


Flag planting


And ascent back into orbit to meet the Kilonova once again. 


Once its lander had been reunited  with it, and after waiting quite some time for a transfer window, the Kilonova set off for our next destination, the dwarf planet of 1 Wers...



Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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After it had executed its burn to depart the Tyepolbynar system and head out to the dwarf planet 1 Wers, the crew of the Kilonova had quite a bit of time on their hands, and not a whole lot to do. Rather quickly, squinting really hard trying to resolve various planets and other objects from the confines of the bridge cockpit became a favorite pastime.


Kaywell, Limnel, and, if you look closely, Shol. It's gonna be a real fun time going all the way down there with only one working radiator array. Originally, I wanted to go straight to Shol from Tyepolbynar, but the delta-V requirements for such a maneuver were simply too great. Instead, I'm going to go to the very inner system after leaving Reander, from which the orbital velocity is much lower, and use repeated Shol gravity assists to circularize.


One of the objects the crew managed to spot was even Mesbin- or, the Mesbin-Derbin system, as in this shot you can only see Derbin, because the two kept flickering in and out of visibility in-game. Derbin is barely visible as a single pixel here.


After about a year or so, the Kilonova finally arrived at the dwarf planet Wers and made its orbital insertion burn. Last time I went here, during my career save, a bunch of things went wrong, so let's hope that's not the case here.


Not long after, the Workhorse was then sent off and down to the surface. Landing proved to be very easy; I'd say landing on Wers is about the same as landing on Minmus in the stock game.


Stan Kerman planting the flag on the surface of Wers, with its moon Vizea on the horizon


From there, it was the usual: dock and make another transfer, this time to Vizea to refuel.



Luckily, landing on Vizea proved to be quite easy. Vizea is actually the place where things went wrong on my previous mission to Wers, as I ended up losing a Kerbal and about two dozen science reports from both Wers and Vizea due to accidentally pressing timewarp while he was jetpacking over the surface.


Darkness in the IVA view during refueling


Once we had lifted off from Vizea and parked the ship into a lower orbit of Wers, it was time to set up the transfer to go to Egad, which, at least superficially, is similar to Duna.



Egad arrival. There's a few peculiar things to note about this world; one, it rotates backwards, meaning that we approached from a direction opposite of what we normally would, and, two, it has this strange green tint covering its limb. You can also spot its only moon, the small asteroid Yeerbor, in the distance.


Once a parking orbit had been achieved, and a bunch more fuel transferred around, Stan Kerman was once again tasked with installing parachutes on the lander in order to make the descent cheaper.




As per usual, the Workhorse utilized aerobraking to get into a low Egad orbit without having to bring the whole ship there.


Although I said Egad is superficially similar to Duna, it is exactly that: superficially. Look a little closer, however, and you'll see that it'd quite a different world. For one, it's a lot larger, being 450 km in radius, and having a gravity of 0.77 g. In addition, its atmosphere is almost as thick as Kerbin's, a far cry from Duna. The atmosphere also has a strange green coloration, which the science reports tell me is due to chlorine.


And, of course, this thicker atmosphere made landing quite a bit easier.


Once on the surface, Gormund Kerman then got out and planted the flag, and only complained a little about the chlorinated atmosphere corroding everything.


So, of course, we decided to ignore this problem and sit on the surface until Yeerbor made one of its marvelous close approaches to the planet from its highly eccentric orbit, with Gememma poking out from behind it. Yeerbor's motion was easily visible in real-time.



Once Kaywell had risen again the next day, Gormund Kerman made his ascent back into orbit, which was made a bit difficult by the atmosphere. I would say leaving Egad takes about the same amount of delta-V as leaving Laythe in the stock game- quite a bit, but still within the Workhorse's capabilities.


After a routine refueling and crew rotation, the Workhorse then set off for Yeerbor.


Landing was still easy, as you would expect, but Yeerbor actually has surprisingly high gravity, at 0.1 g.



Now that he was on the surface, Bill Kerman decided to sit out and wait for Yeerbor to make its close approach to Egad, which takes it all the way down to about 600 km above the planet's surface, just barely beyond the Roche limit. At first, Egad disappeared from view, but soon returned, getting larger and larger in the sky as it did so.


Finally, it eclipsed Kaywell and took up a tremendous portion of the sky, its tides causing violent tremors on the surface of Yeerbor. Reminds me of what it must be like to look up at Mars from the surface of Phobos.



After the spectacle had subsided a little bit, Bill Kerman took off from Yeerbor and made his way back to the Kilonova.


Now that the Egad system had been visited, the next target for the Kilonova was the large asteroid of 3 Rik, which I didn't find all that interesting to visit, but we must visit anyways to complete the challenge. Luckily, Egad and 3 Rik just so happened to be in an almost perfect transfer window, so I didn't end up having to wait too long (only 5 years...)



Getting very far away from Kaywell now, it's starting to get kind of dark...


Arrival at 3 Rik. It's a rather dark and dreary-looking asteroid, which the dim lighting certainly doesn't help.


Orbital survey scan


Once a proper landing site had been determined based on the results of the survey scan, the Kilonova descended to the surface, landing in one of the reddish areas. As this science report suggests, I did not in fact come out here for the spectacular views.


After the landing, a couple of Kerbals then got out to plant the flag. However, given the dark, cold, and dreary nature of the place, not very many felt like leaving the confines of ship.


Turn off the exterior lights, and this place gets even more depressing, being so dark and lonely.


I'm really feeling the desolation with this one.


Fortunately for the crew, however, they didn't have to stay too long, as the refueling process was swift. Before long, it was time to leave this dreary rock behind to go to other dark, but hopefully more interesting, places around Reander.


... In about 8 years.



Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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More than eight years after departing the asteroid of 3 Rik, the Kilonova was finally about to arrive at its next destination: Reander, which is another gas giant like Tyepolbynar, though not quite as massive. It's also got a completely different color scheme going on, given that its clouds are composed primarily of ammonia like those on Jupiter, as opposed to Tyepolbynar's, which are made of water, due to the lower temperatures. Very familiar, yet unfamiliar-looking at the same time. The large moon to the right of the planet is Lito, a Kerbin-sized ice world which we will use for a gravity assist to enter the system for free.


Not before we make a close approach, of about 3,000 kilometers, above the planet, that is.


After approaching uncomfortably close to the giant planet, we then conducted the flyby of Lito for a gravity assist. The more I look at it, the more Lito reminds me of Ganymede.


Though I would expect there to be a lot more cyrovolcanism and fissures going on, given that it's located almost at the Roche limit.



After the gravity assist, however, the Kilonova's orbit was still highly inclined, with an inclination of over 40 degrees. As such, I had to do a few extra maneuvers to correct it. I attribute this high inclination to the fact that I came in from an orbit that was already highly inclined to begin with, that being 3 Rik's orbit.


Luckily, Reander's sphere of influence is absolutely massive due to its great distance from Kaywell, which allows us to get very far away before starting the burn.


Once our course had been corrected, a few more Lito gravity assists would be required before we could make the final orbital insertion burn.


Which, of course, made for some pretty visuals.





Soon enough, we had entered an elliptical orbit around Lito, and it was time to do my favorite thing in this whole mission: FUEL TRANSFERRING. And who but Jebediah Kerman to pilot the lander into an atmosphere that is not the most conducive to unpowered landings?


Which was subsequently followed by my second favorite thing to do: aerobraking to low orbit before landing.


Initially, I was a bit worried that some of the more fragile components of the lander, such as the Science Jr., may not be able to survive entering the atmosphere, but, thanks to Lito's rapid rotation, it actually turns out that I only entered the atmosphere at some 1,800 m/s, far below the 2,300 or so that is orbital velocity.


During the final entry, Jeb tilts the lander to its side to generate as much drag as possible, in order to slow down in time.


Failed parachute deployment attempt (the chute opened too late, and of course I was hurtling towards A MOUNTAIN rather than literally anywhere else). After a couple more failures like this, I would eventually stick the landing on this mountain, but, in doing so, I had to use a few hundred m/s of delta-V to slow down.


Landed. Besides the great views of Reander, there isn't really much to see here, given that the sky is black because I'm on top of a mountain. The air pressure up here is only about 0.07 atm, barely above that found on Duna. For comparison, Lito's datum atmospheric pressure is supposed to be 0.21 atm, three times that. It's also fairly dark this far from Kaywell, casting a grim atmosphere over this icy world.


Ascending back into orbit. The fact that I had to use a bunch of fuel to slow down over this mountain made the delta-V margins tighter than I would have liked. Who knows, maybe it ended up saving me some fuel in the end, given that I would have had more atmosphere to get through, had I landed lower down.


Could not have been much tighter on this ascent. Once orbit had been reached, the Workhorse had 9 m/s of delta-V left.


With such low fuel levels, I didn't even try to dock in the cargo bay; instead, I just extended the asteroid grabbing arm and used that to grab the lander.


After that fiasco had been sorted out, with the lander being refueled and put back into the cargo bay, we set off for Mally, a small, reddish asteroid moon on which we will refuel.


Quite the bumpy place, at least that's what I gather from orbit.


Landed on Mally


Flag planting


After refueling at Mally, the next order of business was to visit the four other large moons of Reander: Yalthe, Yokane, Dakkon, and Totooa. Our first target would be Yalthe, given that it's the innermost of the bunch.



It's pretty much got the same sort of appearance as the real-life Io, and I could have sworn that it had lava lakes at some point.



Although looking like quite an interesting place to land from afar, once we got closer, it became apparent that the actual surface was rather featureless, save for a few deep holes scattered about.


On the surface, it was also quite a bit darker than I had been counting on. There's definitely still a lot of activity going on here, at least according to the science experiments.



Flag planting


Ascent. Landing on Yalthe, and, by extension, Yokane and Dakkon, was almost identical to landing on the Mun in terms of delta-V.


It's off to Yokane next. Yokane appears to be an icier version of Yalthe, with the predominantly icy crust being interrupted by the occasional rocky, volcanic landscape. Almost looks like a cross between Io and Europa.



From low orbit, the dichotomy becomes even more pronounced from the elevation differences.


Descent. I'm aiming to land near the boundary between the rocky lowlands and the icier highland areas.


Landed at Yokane. Aside from maybe the surface of Jifgif, this place easily has the best scenery of anywhere I've landed so far in this planet pack. One place that may be comparable outside of WW is some parts of Slate from OPM.


Slate, for comparison. Which do you think is prettier?


Billy-Boblas Kerman still had plenty of tectonic activity to report here.


Flag planting. Wonder how long this thing will stay in the ground before the constant rumbling dislodges it.


After planting a flag down in the lowlands, Billy-Boblas Kerman also decided that he should go and investigate the icy highlands, which he promptly flew to with his EVA suit.



Once he had made his way back down to the lander, Billy-Boblas Kerman then piloted the Workhorse back into orbit and docked with the Kilonova, which then set off for Dakkon.


I don't really have a whole lot to say about Dakkon, other than that it reminds me a lot of Eeloo.


Phil Kerman was chosen to operate the Workhorse for this landing.


On the surface, Phil Kerman decided to pull the classic low-temperature snack testing stunt.


After visiting Dakkon, the next target was Totooa, the outermost of Reander's major moons. However, unlike the rest of the moons, apart from Lito, Totooa has an atmosphere, and quite a dense one, at that, being almost as dense as Kerbin's at sea level. In addition, it extends all the way up to a whopping 201 kilometers in altitude. I suppose it's a sort of Titan analogue.


Orbital insertion


Looking more closely, just before the Workhorse's descent, it appears that Totooa once had oceans of some sort, given the high-contrasting nature of the higher elevations from low, as well as the distinct river-like formations.


Already in the atmosphere. The descent all the way down to the surface took quite a long time, but was very easy. In order to make the ascent a little bit easier, I'm aiming to land in the highlands.


Chute deployment


Landed. The atmosphere appears to be composed almost entirely of nitrogen, with some trace methane and hydrogen, not unlike that of Titan. Once again, however, the sky is pretty featureless.



Flag planting, with Reander and Lito visible in the background


Beginning the ascent back into orbit. On worlds with low gravity and high atmospheres like Totooa or Tekto from OPM, it is very easy to use way too much throttle at the beginning of your ascent and lose loads of delta-V to drag. Given that the gravity is low, I'm just gently applying the engines, just enough to have a slight acceleration going. If I went full throttle the whole time, I would run out of fuel and get stuck before I even cleared half the atmosphere.


60,000 meters. Still having to ascend at a slow pace, as the atmosphere up here is still almost as thick as Duna's.


Eventually, I reached orbit with around 1,400 m/s of delta-V left, which, frankly, was much more than I expected to have left. After the docking had been completed, the Kilonova set off for Reander's outermost moon, an oblate, Minmus-sized body called Yawer.


Looking at it from a distance, it almost looks like a miniature version of Mesbin. Sorry guys, we're not going home just yet, just have to wait another hundred years or so..


Its albedo also varies greatly depending on what side of it is facing an observer, meaning that, at some points during its rotation, it almost disappears from view.



Orbital survey. I'm going to try to land in that large crater with a lot of ore, but Yawer's rapid rotation isn't going to make that easy.


In fact, just hovering above the surface, I'm almost going orbital velocity.


In the end, though, the Kilonova managed to land okay, and the crew got out for another flag planting. The apparent gravity here is about 0.01 g thanks to the rapid rotation of Yawer, while the gravity at the poles is about 0.1 g.


Even just sitting on the surface, a significant part of the orbit line can be seen. Maybe Yawer really is some sort of long-lost child of Mesbin.


Soon enough, though, it was time to lift off again. Getting into orbit was extremely quick thanks to the rapid rotation.


After leaving Yawer, the crew of the Kilonova then set a course for... Tyepolbynar. Or, at least, that's where we're going to get a massive gravity assist, which will make it much easier to get to our real targets: the scorching worlds of Shol and 2 Wolda.



Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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Just noticed this report, I'll be following it. Not many people use my style of (detailed) reports. And I'm definitely thinking of trying this pack as soon as I finish my current grand tour.


However, if I can give one piece of advice, you should put the reports under spoilers. It makes the page a lot easier to navigate.

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Oh boy... here comes the part of the mission that I've been eagerly awaiting for quite some time now: the journey down to the hellish inner system to Shol and 2 Wolda. As I said previously, I originally wanted to go straight to the inner system from Tyepolbynar, but was stopped from doing so once I realized how insanely expensive such a maneuver would be. As such, I'm instead going there from all the way out at Reander to reduce the delta-V requirements by some. However, ironically, I would end up going to Shol from Tyepolbynar in a way, as I decided to use the planet for a massive gravity assist.

Here you can see the trajectory down to the inner system, with a Tyepolbynar assist completely changing the orbit


And so, more than two decades after leaving it the first time, the Kilonova once again made a visit to Tyepolbynar in the form of a quick flyby.


After passing Tyepolbynar, things quickly began to heat up as Kaywell began to take up a larger and larger portion of the sky. Before too long, the single large radiator array was having to work overtime just to keep the ship cool.


At about 1.4 million km out from Kaywell, some of the more heat-sensitive parts of the ship, like the solar arrays and science labs, started overheating.


This heat wouldn't last for too long, however, as I wasn't performing a Shol flyby for a gravity assist on this orbit- that would have to wait until the next orbit around Kaywell.


However, before the Kilonova went back into the inner system to brave the heat, I came up with an idea. You see, I've used a lot more fuel from both of the Hermes ion landers than I would like at this point, and, thus, the remaining one, the Hermes 2, doesn't have what it takes to get to Wolda and back to the Kilonova. In order to solve this problem, I decided to have Stan Kerman build a new, tiny ion lander using parts from both the Hermes 2 and the larger Ammenon lander, which already has a bit of an excess of delta-V.


And, as it turns out, this was a pretty good move, seeing as having just one large xenon tank gave the thing a ridiculous 25,000 meters per second of delta-V, over twice what I actually needed.


Then, one the way back towards the inferno, I managed to be in the right place at the right time to see Shol perfectly eclipse Limnel, like the Mun perfectly eclipses Kerbol from Kerbin.


At this point, however, heat was starting to become an issue, and I think one of the solar panel arrays exploded during the periapsis. You may also notice that we're still quite far away from Shol, and yet it still appears pretty big in the field of view. That is because Shol is by far the largest planet in the Kaywellian system, with a radius of 13,700 km- over twice that of Jool. It's also got an extremely high surface gravity of 7.24 G, making it extremely good for gravity assists. In fact, I was able to get a more or less circular orbit between Shol and Wolda from just one gravity assist pass at 20,000 km.



And, in addition to being great for gravity assists, Shol also makes for a good sun shield, or at least that's what the crew thought when they passed behind it. Normally, if I put a Kerbal on EVA at this distance from Kaywell, they'd be dead within seconds, but here they can actually survive.


The planet also gives of an eerie red glow from thermal radiation thanks to the extreme temperatures. I have a feeling, though, that we'd rather hide behind this thing than venture back out into the sun.


Of course, though, you can't hide from your problems forever, and soon enough Kaywell's rays were singing the ship once more.


Day side of Shol, never-before seen by Kerbals in such detail (and blinding light). Shol is actually a very dark planet, as, because of the clouds of alkali metals, it has an albedo of only 0.03, but, thanks to the extreme amounts of sunlight hitting it, it actually appears quite bright.



Adjusting our inclination to match that of 2 Wolda


Stan Kerman decides he has no use for his retinas and properly disposes of them


Once the Kilonova had reached apoapsis, at about the same altitude as Wolda's orbit, it was time to release the tiny ion lander that would take Jebediah Kerman to the metallic asteroid and back. Despite the heat at this distance from Kaywell being lethal to a Kerbal if they're exposed to it for longer periods of time, you can actually stop them from overheating by using parts to shield them.


The rather ridiculous 5.4 km/s burn to get to Wolda. This wasn't as efficient as it could have been, but, then again, I literally have 25,000 m/s of delta-V. I actually had to split this burn into a few segments, as Jebediah would get dangerously close to overheating, meaning that I'd have to turn him away from Kaywell to let him cool down. Once the burn was complete, I hopped into the tracking station to avoid having to only warp at 100X to keep Jeb from overheating.


However, upon trying to start my burn to enter orbit around Wolda, I noticed that the engine had stopped working. And, wouldn't you know it, I was out of power because Limnel had moved in front of Kaywell, preventing me from being able to get any power.


One reload and a more carefully-timed burn later, Jeb had entered orbit of Wolda. 


Which was, needless to say, pretty bright....


To avoid the heat, I chose to land on the night side, which I'm sure wouldn't turn out to be a mistake..

Initially, everything went according to plan, with Jeb even being able to stay moderately cool on the surface.


However, I'll just cut to the chase: I had to redo the landing because the lander didn't have enough power to get back off the surface, thanks to there being no sunlight here. Furthermore, when I tried to have Jeb move the lander up to somewhere with sunlight, he just overheated and died anyways. So I ended up redoing the landing, this time on the extremely bright day side of Wolda, which somehow turned out to be cooler-? I dunno, heat in KSP works in weird ways sometimes.


After going back to the tracking station to wait for a transfer window without overheating, it was time to leave Wolda, which Jeb did without hesitation.



Soon enough, after ONLY 5,000 more m/s of delta-V expenditure, Jeb had arrived back at the Kilonova, and it was time to disassemble the lander. Except, I couldn't. Or, at least, not in full. It turns out that, while I could recycle all of the other parts, I couldn't move the xenon tank to place back on the Ammenon lander because it was the root part, which was a bit annoying. I guess I'll just watch it crash into Shol, then, as the orbit we're on right now is all but certain to intersect the planet at some point (when I was making maneuver nodes to get to Wolda, it predicted that I would just fly into Shol in about 150 days' time if I did nothing).


The rest of the lander was recycled fairly easily, however.



Now that the inner system had been visited, it was time to do just the opposite: go all the way out to Gememma. In order to get there, I came up with a trajectory that would get me a Shol gravity assist out to Tyepolbynar, which I would intersect a few orbits later to get me into a higher orbit, from which I would burn at periapsis to reach Gememma in about 66 years' time. That's gonna be fun to warp through. Maybe I'll get the Better Timewarp mod just to deal with that.

Setting up Shol assist by burning prograde



Final trajectory


Xenon tank hurtling towards Shol as predicted


The very second the xenon tank crossed Shol's atmospheric boundary, its temperature shot up to over 3,000 K before exploding, and, would you look at that? That's a pretty neat desktop background!


Tyepolbynar flyby. I feel like I shouldn't be visiting the same planet so many times in a single mission, yet here we are.




Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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On 11/15/2022 at 8:44 AM, king of nowhere said:

Just noticed this report, I'll be following it. Not many people use my style of (detailed) reports. And I'm definitely thinking of trying this pack as soon as I finish my current grand tour.


However, if I can give one piece of advice, you should put the reports under spoilers. It makes the page a lot easier to navigate.

I've now put the reports into spoilers, as well as added a table of contents on the original post to make finding things a bit easier.

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Update: I'm having some technical troubles in that the game keeps crashing whenever I try to set up a trajectory to get to Gememma. The first time it happened, I had already done the transfer burn, and had installed the Better Time Warp mod in order to make the transfer not take literally hours, and, of course, I thought the mod may have been causing the issue, so I uninstalled it after trying again and having the same thing happen, eliminating the possibility of a coincidence. I then tried again without the Better Time Warp mod, and got the same result: the game crashed whenever I made a maneuver node around Gememma. After this, I then thought the issue might have had to do with the way the trajectory was strangely flickering in and out of having an encounter, and so I reloaded a save game to before I had conducted the transfer burn, and yet the game still crashed after I set up a maneuver node. I then tried validating the game files, and nothing changed. I've never had these kinds of issues with Whirligig World or the Better Time Warp Mod before, and none of the crashes occurred when I didn't have any sort of trajectory intersecting Gememma's sphere of influence.


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5 hours ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

I'm having some technical troubles in that the game keeps crashing whenever I try to set up a trajectory to get to Gememma.

I've encountered similar issues with quite a few other planet mods when attempting to plot a trajectory into the SOI of a distant secondary star. I haven't able to figure out what the cause is, but I think it could be related to a planned trajectory that exits (in this case) Gememma, enters a really long orbit around Kaywell, and then encounters Gememma again at a time that's so far in the future that it causes floating-point errors. If so, that would explain why turning the conic patch limit down to 3 before plotting the maneuver seems to prevent crashes.

Edit: As @Stamp20 points out, disabling "always show closest approach to target" also works, but it can be undesirable if you want to intercept a planet directly from the transfer.

Edited by Leganeski
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19 hours ago, Leganeski said:

I've encountered similar issues with quite a few other planet mods when attempting to plot a trajectory into the SOI of a distant secondary star. I haven't able to figure out what the cause is, but I think it could be related to a planned trajectory that exits (in this case) Gememma, enters a really long orbit around Kaywell, and then encounters Gememma again at a time that's so far in the future that it causes floating-point errors. If so, that would explain why turning the conic patch limit down to 3 before plotting the maneuver seems to prevent crashes.

Edit: As @Stamp20 points out, disabling "always show closest approach to target" also works, but it can be undesirable if you want to intercept a planet directly from the transfer.

Didn't work. I had actually already had "Always Show Closest Approach" disabled, and decreasing the conic patch limit from 6 to 3 didn't do anything to prevent another crash. However, since the game has yet to crash during time warp, I'm wondering if I should just time warp straight into Gememma's sphere of influence and bite the bullet in terms of the delta-V requirements in getting to Mandrake.

Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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Just now, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

Didn't work. I had actually already had "Always Show Closest Approach" disabled, and decreasing the conic patch limit from 6 to 3 didn't do anything to prevent another crash.

Interesting. I can never figure out what's going on with that bug; it doesn't appear most of the time and varies wildly in the amount of lag it causes before crashing. Perhaps someone on the Kopernicus team might know more.

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I just tried reducing the conic patch limit to 2 and time-warping all the way to the Gememma encouter at the Space Center, and, while that worked, and I was even able to control the ship and do science in Gememma's outer SOI, once I tried to create a maneuver node to enter orbit, the game immediately crashed again. If there's no way around this besides save file editing, I might have to end the mission here.


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35 minutes ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

If there's no way around this besides save file editing, I might have to end the mission here.

If the bug only happens when you plan a maneuver node, you could enter orbit by burning retrograde at periapsis without a maneuver node and then continue as normal once you get a stable orbit. Even with a periapsis near Mandrake's orbit, this would cost at most an additional 300 m/s or so. (I've never experienced the crashing bug when my orbit is safely contained in the secondary star's SOI.)

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1 hour ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

I just tried reducing the conic patch limit to 2 and time-warping all the way to the Gememma encouter at the Space Center, and, while that worked, and I was even able to control the ship and do science in Gememma's outer SOI, once I tried to create a maneuver node to enter orbit, the game immediately crashed again. If there's no way around this besides save file editing, I might have to end the mission here.


Have you tried KSP Community Fixes? I've heard secondhand that there are issues with the maneuver tool that mod fixes, it's basically all just bugfixes and some UI improvements, nothing really affecting game mechanics afaik (unless you count bugs as mechanics, which in a game like this would be understandable), so I'd say it shouldn't invalidate your tour

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Welp, that just about does it.

The game just crashed again twice, once while I had not made any maneuver node whatsoever, and another time when I had already entered an extremely high, but closed orbit around Gememma, which was my last resort. In other words, in order to have any chance of continuing the mission, I'd have to do the entire rest of it without using maneuver nodes, which, given that my current orbit is highly eccentric AND retrograde, would be next to impossible. Quite frankly, I've also been getting pretty tired of this mission anyways.

After almost giving up, I then decided to install KSP Community Fixes at the recommendation of @WarriorSabe, and got the same result. 

Mission suspended indefinitely.

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13 hours ago, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

Welp, that just about does it.

The game just crashed again twice, once while I had not made any maneuver node whatsoever, and another time when I had already entered an extremely high, but closed orbit around Gememma, which was my last resort. In other words, in order to have any chance of continuing the mission, I'd have to do the entire rest of it without using maneuver nodes, which, given that my current orbit is highly eccentric AND retrograde, would be next to impossible. Quite frankly, I've also been getting pretty tired of this mission anyways.

After almost giving up, I then decided to install KSP Community Fixes at the recommendation of @WarriorSabe, and got the same result. 

Mission suspended indefinitely.

Ah well. Maybe put out the save file, and see if someone else can salvage it?

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On 10/22/2022 at 9:02 AM, jimmymcgoochie said:

The most challenging part of any Grand Tour isn’t designing the vessels or planning the route, it’s putting up with abysmal, slideshow quality frame rates as your thousand-plus-part monstrosity thrashes the single CPU core doing all the work. Docking or doing any kind of EVA work is so much slower and even more painful at 3FPS, plus I’ve found EVAs a lot harder to control properly as they always seem to overcorrect instead of just pointing the way I tell them to.

of course, one could still run a grand tour with a much smaller and simpler ship. even counting the big landers for the eve-like planets, it should still be within less 300 parts.

but then, most of the times a grand tour is nothing but a thinly-veiled excuse to go wild on ship design.

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