czokletmuss

[AAR] The Grand Tour - Voyage To The Planets

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What I mean by "very good" has to be understood in relation to other s-f movies. Sure, it wasn't "2001" but neither "Sunshine" or "Gravity" was. And considering terrible s-f movies like "Armageddon" or "Mission to Mars" or "Red Planet" and tiny budget I would say it was a very good movie :)

To be honest it wasn't the 'hollywood' feel lacking. It was more an odd style of the flow. In hollywood movies you get used to flashbacks, sometimes the whole movie in flashback, starting at the ending. This was jumping around a lot in the first half, sometimes to the point where you couldn't tell what had happened when. Plus I seriously think they over did the radiation induced 'flickering' and monitors jumping in and out. But yes, overall the basics (script, acting, special effects, and continuity) were well carried though. That's what I meant by 'not living up to it's promise'. It seems that with their budget, with the script they had, they did really well... then kind of went weird with it. *shrugs* It was very thought provocing though. Thought a lot on it afterwards, which is always a good sign.

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-snip-

Exactly. It's not the top notch movie but it was good in comparison to other s-f movies. And when your standard s-f movie looks like this

http://youtu.be/Bb0eog-Mi94

you've got to appretiate the small things :) I was annoyed too by silly radiation effects but IMO acting was surprisingly good - for once I was able to believe they are scientists, not some hotshot space cowboys lead by Bruce Willis.

Anyways, this is off-topic! Let's concentrate on the poll :)

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Hmm. Personally, I think the situation boils down to something like this: The only ways to brake are by engine or heat shield, neither of which are in good condition. I'm personally liking the Aerobrake/Burnbrake Combo.

Edited by zxczxczbfg

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I still don't think any aerobraking is a good idea. Is there any way to make an aerobrake 'light'? Plus the way they're set up they can't burn during the aerobrake, right? The shield is on the front. Thus they won't get as good a use of the oberth effect anyway. I still say a slow burn with minimal stress on the frame is best.

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I don't get why there aren't more votes for the Ike gravity assist. It's the only option that won't massively stress the frame/

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I don't get why there aren't more votes for the Ike gravity assist. It's the only option that won't massively stress the frame/

I'm not convinced that a gravity assist will slow them down that much. IKE's not that massive.

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Well, it would be ~300-600 m/s less, so 30-60 seconds shorter burn (current max acceleration for "Proteus" is like ~10-11 m/s).

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I'm not convinced that a gravity assist will slow them down that much. IKE's not that massive.

You havn't been to Duna have you? Ike has the highest mass ratio to its parent body then any other moon, as well as the ratio of its semimajor axis to the SOI radius, if any moon could do it, it would be Ike.

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Insertion burn

Duna is small and it's atmosphere is thin and your flyby geometry have very high velocity. It would need very aggressive aerobraking. There has been several problems with kerbals and Proteus in much smaller deceleration values during some chapters. To be consistent, I would say that insertion burn is only choice. Maybe it can be combined with aerobraking or Ike gravity assist, but they can give only small percentage of total dv. I would say that benefits does not compensate for risks.

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Ike Assist + Braking Burn gets my vote, as it would reduce the delta-V required and Ike is that annoying bugger always gettin' in the way, may as well make use of him.

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i say combo of all three

insertion burn with aerobraking and ike assist

make reduction of Dv while keeping integrity of hull

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Insertion Burn with/without Ike Gravity Assist

Aerobraking was often very dangerous, both to Proteus and Kadmos; once they enter the atmosphere the ship could fall apart for all we know. When they use fusion engines they at least have some safety measures that would terminate the burn; also, they have control over deltaV unlike in case of aerobraking. Additionally, Ike gravity assist can provide savings of several hundred m/s as well, reducing the length of the required burn and thus reducing a chance of potential malfunction.

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Insertion burn - 13

Aerobraking - 5

Combo (aerobraking with Ike reverse gravity assist) - 4

Direct landing and rendez-vous with "Proteus" on escape trajectory - 1

Insertion burn + partial aerobraking - 2

Direct landing with aerobraking - 1

Proteus Ike Aerobrake Retroburn - 1

And

Lithobraking - 1

...

I mean, come on! :D

Anyways, the winner is orbit insertion burn. Expect next chapter any day now.

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Like I said, if they plan ahead and do a slow burn the reactors won't be taxed... but they will be low on fuel.

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Sneak-peak into the next chapter:

av36mzn.jpg

BTW I hope you enjoyed the last chapter; because of the poll nobody commented on it so if there are some grammar mistakes or anything please tell me :)

Edited by czokletmuss

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The Kerbal was staring at Yavin? *Gasp!* Lock X-foils in attack positions, we're going in!

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The Kerbal was staring at Yavin? *Gasp!* Lock X-foils in attack positions, we're going in!

*kzzzk*

Gold leader, standing by:

x4C0TZsl.pngp

(Close enough)

I don't really see the Death Star, but that kerbal's expression is perfect. How do you do it?

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I don't really see the Death Star, but that kerbal's expression is perfect. How do you do it?

Luck and patience. I switched to IVA and took some photos :)

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yEdh07v.jpg

CHAPTER 60

DUNA ORBIT INSERTION

N7zvZGZ.jpg

***

Commander's log, entry 130 (422 days after deactivation).

In less than an hour we're going to enter Duna's sphere of influence. Then we will know whether we made a right decision.

I didn't write anything here for the past two weeks. I just didn't have strength to do this. I feel very tired. Whatever the next hours are going to bring, I'm glad it's finally over. The discussion how exactly should we get into orbit felt like it was never going to end. By the time we agreed that the best option is to execute orbit insertion burn everyone got really fed up with this...

***

DANREY: Jeb?

JEB: Hmm?

DANREY: I said we're go for a trajectory correction.

JEB: You did? How much time do we have left?

DANREY: Uhm, we should start 8 seconds ago actually...

JGxLk56.jpg

JEB: Damn. I'm on it. RCS online.

DANREY: Just be gentle with the controls.

JEB: I know how to fly, son. Done.

UDzUsRb.jpg

DANREY: “Son�

JEB: I'm sorry, I don't know why I said that.

DANREY: I mean sure, you are older than me but-

JEB: Forget it. How are we looking?

DANREY: Hmm... well, it seems like we're going to be 1.26 million kilometers short.

BfVIWGF.jpg

JEB: I see.

DANREY: Nothing we can't correct.

JEB: Good. You may go now, I'll take care of the rest.

DANREY: Okay. Uhm... Jeb?

JEB: Yes?

DANREY: Did you-

JEB: No. Not yet.

DANREY: We need to make that call soon, you know.

JEB: I know. I'm working on it.

***

There were a lot of options. Duna-Ike system is unique for a lot of reasons. There are only a couple of places in our Solar System when you can try aerobraking. The Red Planet is one of them and we already used this opportunity first time when we were here. But what's really making it special is presence of Ike. Tidally locked in synchronous orbit, its mass and diameter in relation to a parent celestial body bigger than any mun. Perfect for reverse gravity assist. But even with sphere of influence so huge in comparison to its semi-major axis I weren't sure we make us it to slow down. To do this requires luck, a commodity we've run out of months ago.

***

NED: Okay, let's get through this one more time.

CAMBO: :sigh:

DANREY: Very well. The aerobraking-

MALLOCK: Do we really need to be here? It's not like we're going to vote on it.

NED: Yes, we do. I'm not a pilot either but I think we all should know what we're going to do.

ROZER: Yeah.

NED: Shut up. Continue, Dan.

DANREY: Ahem. So, aerobraking. We did it already several times, we did it on Duna. However, the last time we tried this it ended... badly. Acceleration peaked at 2.9g and the heatshield temperature rose to nearly 3000 degrees centigrade. I don't think that “Proteus†can handle something like this. Moreover, Duna's atmosphere density is so low we would have to go 10 or 11 kilometers from its surface, just like the last time, which in case of any trouble means-

NED: I think we all know what it means.

DANREY: Yes. So, considering this and the fact that we have only 34% of ablative material left, which we have to save for Kerbin encounter in case of any problems, the whole idea of aerobraking is just terrible. What we need to do is to perform standard orbit insertion burn, which-

ROZER: 80 tonnes.

DANREY: What?

ROZER: Eight or maybe even ninety metric tonnes of reaction mass, that's how much this is going to cost us. We're not talking about some minor correction – this is going to cost at least 3000 m/s. It's two thirds of what is needed to get from the surface to low Kerbin orbit.

DANREY: That's not true. If we use Ike's gravity well to perform reverse slingshot-

ROZER: Exactly - “ifâ€Â. How come you be so sure it's a viable option?

DANREY: Even if it won't, it's still safer than going through the atmosphere at 3 kilometers per second.

ROZER: So you agree with me that we're going to spend 3000 meters per second. Good.

DANREY: What? No!

ROZER: And remember that you are talking about using the engines for a long time. With acceleration at 1g it's going to take six minutes or more. Do we have a guarantee that the fusion cores can handle this?

DANREY: We don't but we don't have a guarantee than “Proteus†can survive atmospheric entry either!

ROZER: Chief Ned, what do you think? Can we count on these engines?

NED: For six minutes?

ROZER: On full throttle. Can we count on them working in 100%?

NED: …

ROZER: Well?

NED: No.

ROZER: No, we can't. This is your answer.

DANREY: We don't have to use them on full throttle! We can use 20-30% of their power if needed. We would have to just burn a little longer.

ROZER: Oh really? And what if the engines fail completely during the burn?

DANREY: You are concerned about the engines? What if we crash? What if there'll be some problems with ship stability during aerobraking? What if it starts spinning violently, exposing every part of it to extreme temperature? What if it just falls apart? Huh!? What then?

ROZER: It may happen, yes. But RCS is working. SAS is working. With aerobraking gravity and atmosphere are working for us – we don't need engines if we have physics on our side. But if the engines fail we may never be able to enter the orbit or get an encounter with Kerbin. Never.

JOHNDON: Wait, what if we just used b-both ideas? We can slow down a little using the engines and t-then complete orbit insertion with aerob-breaking.

RL39619.jpg

NED: That's actually a good idea.

ROZER: No, it's not. The engines still may fail during the burn.

DANREY: We can minimalize the time needed for burn using gravity assist from Ike. The Oberth effect-

ROZER: Is worthless if you can't get close enough to a celestial body. We may not get encounter with the mun at all.

MALLOCK: Wait. I have an idea. What if we send LAMGML directly to Duna surface? “Proteus†will stay on free return trajectory and either way only LAMGML has to land in the base.

DANREY: Well, considering our inclination and base localization... and delta-v needed to land, take off and catch up to “Proteusâ€Â-

ROZER: It's not going to happen. It's our only lander. And what if something happens while LAMGML is trying to catch up to the ship? The last thing we need is more casualties.

NED: You dare?! You dare to talk about casualties?!

MALLOCK: Hey!

DANREY: Ned, calm down!

NED: Motherfraker.

JOHNDON: Where are you g-going?

CAMBO: I'll go with him.

MALLOCK: sigh:

DANREY: Damn... Anyway, these are the only options – aerobraking or insertion burn. There are no alternatives. Which means we basically have only one option, since aerobraking in our current condition is virtually lithobraking.

JOHNDON: What's lithob-braking?

MALLOCK: Crashing.

ROZER: I can agree only in one thing – there are no other options.

DANREY: So, what are we going to do?

MALLOCK: Do we really need to decide now?

ROZER: The sooner the better. So far from the planet it would take only few meters per second to change our trajectory. If we wait, it'll cost us more.

DANREY: So what is it? Jeb?

JEB: I'll think about it.

***

I thought about this really hard. For every argument for one of the options there was always at least one counter-argument. The more time I spent on this, the more difficult it was to choose. And I had to choose. I run dozens of simulations with various results. Sometimes we crashed, sometimes we didn't. Sometimes the fusion cores triggered chain reaction.

I started to have nightmares again.

nV6c2Et.jpg

But in the end, surprisingly the decision wasn't that hard to make. To trust the lives of all of us on his idea was too much to take. I knew in my guts that this would end badly. And as long as I live, I'll do everything to make sure we won't end like this, falling in flames through the atmosphere like Icarus.

I chose insertion burn.

The last days before the encounter were spent on repairing whatever we can and securing everything – after months in zero gee “Proteus†was about to become a real mess if all these thing were to get caught by the grip of gravity again. Ned was doing his magic with the engines. Endless tests of RCS and SAS in dozens of scenarios. We decided not to change our periapsis – circular orbit at 400 kilometers is as good as any. We prepared the LAMGML. There were some problems with a cooling system but we worked it out.

We aren't ready. But that's the best we can do.

eK2iDIT.jpg

***

DANREY: I'm back. 50 seconds.

NED: Could you please stop? It won't make a difference if we start the calculations 5 second later.

DANREY: Sorry.

JEB: Did you check them?

DANREY: Yes, everyone is in position in case of any trouble.

otfj1WI.jpg

NED: There's always trouble.

DANREY: Honestly, I don't know should I feel safe hearing this from our nuclear propulsion specialist.

NED: You shouldn't.

DANREY: 10 seconds. Now that's reassuring.

JEB: Be quiet, two of you. We're about to enter target's SOI.

NED: So? All we need to know is-

DANREY: We're in.

JEB: Calculating maneuver.

NED: And? Do we have Ike encounter?

PROTEUS: SIMULATION COMPLETED.

DANREY: Negative. Frak!

NED: What? Why? We did-

JEB: We're too fast. 3,7 kilometers per second, required delta-V for a circularization burn at closest approach 3216 meters per second.

NED: Is it that bad?

DANREY: We have enough fuel but that's more than we expected.

NED: Well, can't we do something to get an encounter?

JEB: It would take more delta-v than we could gain from the slingshot. It's too late now.

DANREY: …

JEB: Let's run some tests – we don't have much time.

0NkHQo4.jpg

EafcnEq.jpg

tDDxAI2.jpg

***

JEB: Are you ready?

DANREY: Yes.

JEB: Good. Let's turn it retrograde.

DANREY: SAS online. Don't you want to use RCS?

JEB: We don't have that much monopropellant. We already used some kethane to-

DANREY: Jeb, look! Duna!

av36mzn.jpg

JEB: …

DANREY: So close after all these months...

JEB: Yes... but we're not yet there.

DANREY: Don't you think we can make it?

JEB: I depends on the engines, not me.

DANREY: Ned said that he has done everything he can to make the work.

JEB: He did. Let's just hope it'll be enough.

0melV5l.jpg

***

DANREY: 30 seconds.

JEB: Is everyone ready?

NED: Aye.

ROZER: Yes

CAMBO: I'm ready.

MALLOCK: We're ready too.

JOHNDON: As s-soon as we're in range, we'll start checking the frequencies.

JEB: Good. Remember to check the probes also.

MALLOCK: And the station. Copy that.

DANREY: 15 seconds.

NED: Are you sure 25% is all you need?

JEB: We made calculations for 3 m/s of acceleration, Ned.

NED: Okay, okay. And Jeb?

JEB: Yes?

NED: In case-

JEB: Don't.

DANREY: 10 seconds, I'm starting the SAS.

NED: Just... kodspeed, old friend.

JEB: Kodspeed.

DANREY: Five, four, three, SAS online, one-

PROTEUS: MANEUVER NODE REACHED. ENGINES 24 PERCENT THROTTLE.

WfPGYqq.jpg

JEB: Damnit! Dan?

DANREY: Orbital velocity 3862 meters per second, 3196 to go. Are you feeling alright? It's only 3 m/s, you-

JEB: I'm fine. Ned?

NED: We're good.

1GSTVUd.jpg

JEB: Time?

DANREY: Two minutes twenty seconds to periapsis.

JEB: Fusion cores?

NED: No problem so far.

PROTEUS: ENGINES 23 PERCENT THROTTLE.

NED: What?

JEB: It's under control – we're using reaction mass, our TWR is increasing.

YSF3vQR.jpg

JEB: What is it Dan?

DANREY: Nothing, no problem so far. It's just that we're accelerating really slowly.

NED: You mean decelerating.

JEB: It's relative.

73gmRMh.jpg

PROTEUS: ENGINES 22 PERCENT THROTTLE.

JEB: How are cores looking?

NED: Nominal.

JEB: Really?

NED: Why would I lie? They are in a surprisingly good condition, so far there weren't a single-

PROTEUS: WARNING. INSTABILITY IN FUSION CORE B DETECTED.

R0Yxxkw.jpg

NED: Frak! I knew it was going too well!

JEB: Is it serious? Time!

DANREY: One minute!

NED: Be quiet and let me work.

PROTEUS: ENGINES 21 PERCENT THROTTLE.

q3r3t5L.jpg

JEB: Copy that. Stay calm everyone, we-

DANREY: Oh crap... Jeb, radiation levels are rising.

JEB: What the hell? How?

DANREY: I don't know, there's a spike in detectors readings... but it doesn't make sense!

JEB: What doesn't make sense? Clarify!

DANREY: There's no way so much of such high-energy particles can gather here! Duna doesn't have magnetosphere!

EoUN0fJ.jpg

JEB: Damn! We have to increase the throttle, we-

DANREY: No, wait – radiation level is dropping.

PROTEUS: WARNING. INSTABILITY IN FUSION CORE A DETECTED.

JEB: Ned!

NED: I'm working on it!

JEB: What do you mean dropping?

DANREY: I don't know, it's just like we flew through some irradiated cloud of-

JEB: Debris?

R0XHNhe.jpg

DANREY: Or reaction mass. From NTR maybe?

JEB: That's impossible.

DANREY: Then how do you want to explain-

JEB: If it's not dangerous it's not important! Give me time and velocity – Ned, what about the cores?

NED: I'm almost done with the recalibration!

DANREY: Orbital velocity 1432 meters per second, 13 seconds to periapsis.

BTMreKx.jpg

JEB: Should we worry about the engines, Ned?

NED: Done! Not for a next few minutes.

PROTEUS: PERIAPSIS ACHIEVED. ENGINES 20 PERCENT THROTTLE.

JEB: That's... great. Let's finish the burn.

K68QIMU.jpg

CB6GbN3.jpg

JEB: Dan?

DANREY: Orbital velocity 1134 meters per second, periapsis T plus 50 seconds. We'll soon get into orbit!

JEB: Good. Let's do this nice and easy. Any problems Ned?

NED: Nothing, not at all. The fusion cores are performing better than expected to be honest. Maybe we worried needlessly? Hell, I'm almost sure now that even if we-

DANREY: We're in!

PROTEUS: ORBIT ACHIEVED.

UA8yge5.jpg

gA02e57.jpg

DANREY: We're in orbit! Velocity 907 meters per second!

NED: Yes! We did it! We- what are you doing?

JEB: A small test.

PROTEUS: ENGINES 50 PERCENT THROTTLE.

NED: Uh!

DANREY: What?! But our calculations-

JEB: We're already in orbit and we won't fire these engines for a long time, it's the only chance to test their performance before Kerbin transfer burn. We need to-

PROTEUS: WARNING. INSTABILITY IN FUSION CORE B DETECTED.

NED: There's your test!

PROTEUS: ENGINES 18 PERCENT THROTTLE.

NED: Uh! Are you happy now?!

JEB: Yes, I am. Without-

DANREY: Jeb.

JEB: What?

e9M6rsi.jpg

kTGwOLX.jpg

DANREY: We, uh, failed to circularize the orbit.

JEB: Doesn't matter, we can always correct this. Did you hear this? We're in orbit – give me your status report.

CAMBO: Thank Kod! No problems here.

ROZER: RCS still nominal.

JEB: Mal? Johndon? We're definitely in range now, did you receive something?

MALLOCK: Well...

NED: Huh, it's actually not that bad... What's going on with these fusion cores?

JEB: Hush. Did you receive anything from the base?

MALLOCK: No. Nothing. Not even a distress signal. It's just dead silence, Jeb.

JEB: …

JOHNDON: B-but...

JEB: Yes?

JOHNDON: B-but we didn't get anything from the sp-pace station either. And the automatic b-beacon should be still operating no matter what happened on the p-planet. This is p-puzzling.

DANREY: You have our status on screen.

pzZiRBF.jpg

JEB: Thanks.

MALLOCK: We don't know what could it mean but-

ROZER: We know very well what could it mean. And it probable mean exactly this.

JOHNDON: The p-point is what are we going to do now. Shall we land and investigate the b-base?

JEB: Not yet. We need check the ship before we do anything else – we have to be absolutely sure we can afford to land there. We-

ROZER: Seventy five point six.

JEB: Excuse me?

ROZER: Tonnes. We've just used 75,6 metric tonnes of fuel. This better be worth it.

NED: You little piece of-

JEB: Ned, don't. We will find out about this soon enough. In the meantime, we have to prepare ourselves and “Proteusâ€Â. We're going to start thinking about landing later. And going to the surface... whatever we're going to find there, we need to be ready. Dismissed.

SmVaJrB.jpg

***

yEdh07v.jpg

MISSION STATUS

***

Sr3nO0N.png

Edited by czokletmuss

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