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attempted to conduct a Munar Sortie mission for my Doing It Constellation Style challenge.







Everything was going well.


Until I discovered several issues with the lander upper stage. I attempted a landing, but the upper stage engine is not powerful enough and resulted in an inefficient ascent profile that consumed too much fuel. I also discovered that there was some problem with Kerbalism and nitrogen; whether I was doing something wrong or whether it is a bug in the mod has yet to be determined, but the nitrogen supply of the lander was rapidly depleted when it should have lasted for much more than enough time to complete the mission. And on top of that, at some point during the mission (likely when I reloaded a quicksave because of issues transferring crew) the service module became misaligned, which I did not notice until the attempted ascent but it offset the thrust vector and wasted huge amounts of monopropellant (which is the power source for this lander; it uses a monopropellant fuel cell). So I had to revert to a pre-landing quicksave and rescue the crew without landing on the Mun.




It is a shame this mission failed, because I was quite pleased with my design work on these vehicles; they are the best-looking Constellation vehicles I have ever made. I will have to make some modifications; I am just hoping that I get a response in the Kerbalism forum thread that tells me what was wrong with the nitrogen supply on the lander so that I can fix that (if it was my doing; if it is a bug, I will put everything on hold until Kerbalism is fixed).

EDIT: nitrogen issues have been confirmed to be a bug, and I have been directed to the latest development build of Kerbalism where this is apparently fixed. I am still going to take a break from my Constellation missions to go back to my September Astronautics save though.

Edited by septemberWaves
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I've been just lazily kicking the tires on KSP 1.6.0...



A mission to Moho: from left to right: Goblin (mining base/lander), Beep (2x 3-relay constellations), Mule (course/arrival) and Escort (recyclable transfer booster).



MX1 Mun station (Krux) with Sparrow (tug), Goblin lander/miner and a NerfJet for personnel.


No major quibbles with KSP 1.6.0.  A worthy successor to the venerable 1.3.1!

Thank you, Squad.  And thank you, modders.

Edited by Hotel26
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6 hours ago, MisterKerman said:

I like your SSTO a lot. It doesn't have mining gear stashed away on it somewhere does it? It it makes it to Minmus and back on a single tank that's insane.

It went into orbit almost without the ion engines, the middle airintake didnt need to have fuel either. Then went to minmus and back using ion only with almost 1/3 of the xenon remaining at the end of it all.

Edit: One more problem with the first version is that when i came home to kerbin again it completely refused to pitch up when going slower than 200m/s leading to jeb needing to bail out as the plane plummeted into the ocean;.; Thank god for kerbal parachutes...

After that semi-successfull flight i wanted to fix some of the problems i had, and add some new features:

1. Add passanger capability.

2. More batteries.

3. Docking port and rcs.

4. Science instruments and antenna.

All these features made it to heavy to get into orbit as nicely as the old version, so i had to step up the power...:cool:

First i tried with more ion engines and a spark as the spark has more isp than the rapier in wet mode, but that didnt work.

Then i made the core into a mk2 cross section, and made everything generally bigger and better so that i could have 2 rapiers for more boost in-atmo.

Ended up with this nice thing:


Edited by Eriksonn
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I know I've been spamming a bit but I've completed the final leg of the journey with my 10 moon tourists.






Landing was smooth but one of the air-brakes broke during re entry.



After everyone was safely off board, I turned in a bit of science I got during my prior commercial obligations.



10 Tourists safe and sound, as well as 35 contractual obligations fulfilled from the second moon landing alone. (Also omg I just realized I have 2 million funds... OwO)



Edited by MisterKerman
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3 hours ago, septemberWaves said:


I've had this happen a number of times. In my case I think autostrutting was the problem. Not sure if this applies to your situation, but it looks nearly identical the issues I'd faced (look in the pic below at the service module with the solar panels attached. You can see how it's misaligned with the parts on either side).

I traced mine back to using autostrut to "heaviest" combined with docking or undocking. My best guess was that when craft docked/undocked the heaviest part would change causing all the autostruts to reconnect. It wouldn't change instantly, but when I re-loaded the craft parts would go askew. Using autostrut to "grandparent" instead of "heaviest" seems to work a lot better. Hope this helps.




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That is almost definitely what happened; I had autostrutted the docking port and command module on my Orion analogue to the heaviest part (which, at the time, was the fuel tank on the Munar transfer stage, though this had been separated before the spacecraft reached the Mun). Thank you for the help; I will have to try to remember this in future.

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Mission planning day. I'm pretty sure that this...


...is enough to go from LKO to Otho, land 1-2x on each of the outer moons, then fully explore every biome on Augustus with the Spicehunter, and handle all the data with the lab module.

The whole caboodle will park up in Augustus orbit, hopefully with the dregs of the transfer fuel left spare. The command pod will first take the nuclear stage to the outer moons, return and rendezvous, decouple, attach to the LFO-based Augustus stage (this saves something like 5 tons of payload by not duplicating command pods). One of the pilots will take the Spicehunter down first to choose the landing site, pick up the crew when they arrive, and gather all of the sciences before returning to ascent vehicle and bringing it all back to the orbital lab. Between them, the lab and command pod have capacity for 8 kerbals, but probably only 5 will be assigned to this mission since every stage can be remote controlled.

The command pod should fit in a mk3 cargo bay for recovery to ground once it returns to LKO.

All together, this thing weighs 200 tons. All I have to do is get it to LKO. At least it fits in a 5m fairing, even if it will stick out of the top of the VAB :D 

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Launched a heavily automated sample return mission to Minmus...





Airstart motor separation...



Completing the push to orbit



BECO-3 and upper stage ignition partway through the transfer burn to Minmus.



Fairing jettison, 5 seconds into upper stage burn.



Cruise mode enabled.

The upper stage will be converted to a comms relay after releasing the lander on a suborbital path towards a promising biome. The lander itself is a one-time-use vehicle, as the engines will permanently shut down just before landing. At that point, the automation really kicks in, deploying solar panels and an antenna for the lander proper after a short delay to allow the craft to settle onto its landing legs, followed shortly thereafter by activating the scientific instruments. There is a hold built in to allow mission control to sort through the data and decide on which experiments to transmit, and which to transfer to the sample return capsule at the top of the stack. Making the transfer activates a short countdown, which then fires a decoupler and a pair of short-burn, low-thrust rockets to kick the ascent/return vehicle clear of the lander, then after a 5 second countdown, activates the twin solid rockets used to provide the initial kick clear of the surface before an ion engine takes over.


While the above craft coasts to Minmus, chasing the single-seat lander and crew transfer vehicle launched previously, I also delivered another module to Salyut 1:


The module in question is a Mark One Laboratory Extension lab from @Angel-125's excellent MOLE pack, which allows for even more science to be generated by running experiments over time within the module. I had planned to launch an experiment to it aboard a resupply capsule, but KSP chose the moment I hit the "Launch" button in particular to CTD (Crash To Desktop). Reboot of KSP is underway as I type this, so I may add to this later tonight with the follow-up report on that mission.

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successfully landed a payload for my surface station......upside down, but instead of giving up i rememberd that i had spare docking ports and landing legs at the surface station.

so i trucked them over, used kas to attach them to the upside down skycrane, but they werent long enough, so i attached a docking port to the side of the skycrane, docked my base building rover to it and used dock rotate to rotate it horizontal, from their it was easy to manuever to the base.

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Opting to do a new post rather than updating the previous one, as the report is rather extensive...

Succeeded in launching the experiment container (without crashing KSP this time :rolleyes:)...


In flight, transferring to the Salyut 1 station...



Docked, with Bill inspecting the reinforcement cables it brought along with the experiment. God I love KIS...


Shortly thereafter, the TKS-ER arrived at Minmus with Val, Maucal, and Stelgun Kerman aboard. Rendezvous and docking were no issue, and the three ladies happily moved into the spacious Bigby module...


Maucal proceeded to remove the RCS clusters from the solar telescope that had been used to transpose and dock the telescope after orbital insertion, stowing them in the docking hub for later transfer back home. Maucal then deployed several preloaded science instruments for both current and future usage with the MOLE experiments.

Following this, there was a few days delay while the next elements of my Minmus exploration program caught up with the much faster TKS-ER.. Starting with the "Mossie" single-seat scout lander arriving and performing a flawless rendezvous with Minmus Station.


Val EVA'd over to the lander and detached it from the transfer stage, then docked it to the waiting ventral docking port of the station. There was some rather pungent curses issued in this process as the docking ports didn't want to work for a while, but it eventually clicked, and Val returned to the station's main habitat module. The transfer stage was then dispatched towards an eventual 400 km x 400 km orbit to serve as the second of three commsats over Minmus.

Following less than a day behind the Mossie was the Minmus Sample Return mission. Using another Delta II upper stage as a transfer stage (which has also been put on a transfer to a commsat orbit) , it successfully inserted into low orbit around Minmus, detached, and began its descent to the Greater Flats...



Courtesy of MechJeb's Translatron, a readout of time to impact, and a projected suicide burn start time, the lander happily decelerated, hovered, and automatically shut down its engines just above the surface. After a few seconds, the lander's solar panels and antenna deployed, and promptly ran a total of 13 experiments.


Controllers then commanded the collection of all science into the return capsule, and the craft automatically fired the "punt" stage...


This stage first kicked the return capsule and its integrated propulsion bus upwards at 4 m/s, then tipped it to a 45* angle and lit the second set of solid motors. these accelerated the probe to 50 m/s and lofted it over the nearby hills. some 30 seconds after the command to collect the science, the return capsule deployed its own solar panels and antenna, lit its ion engine, and proceeded to orbit, and from there, ejected back to Kerbin.



Back on Kerbin, the experiment delivered to Salyut 1 had completed, so the crew packaged it (and some now-unneeded RCS clusters used in the docking of the lab module) into the delivery vehicle and sent it back to Kerbin on a punishing 9.8G reentry...



The intense reentry was a (successful) attempt to put the capsule down just off the coast of the KSC... final splashdown was some 24 km off the shore of the Center, well within reasonable distance.


Again, automation via SmartParts automatically ejected the heat shield and deployed the airbags, keeping the capsule afloat... if not necessarily upright. ;)



All in all, a highly productive evening for me, although there are certainly some lessons learned from these missions.


Next up: Launching more experiments (and a crew rotation) to Salyut 1, a second crew flight to Minmus Station, recover the sample return mission via rendezvous and an EVA recovery from Salyut (before crew rotation, probably... ), and Val gets to follow in Jeb's footsteps by landing on Minmus to prove out Mossie before Stelgun gets to fly solo. Maybe toss in a shipment of some science experiments for the station, as well.

Edited by MaverickSawyer
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My Moho mission, Sunlander returned from Moho and since it ran out of fuel, I decided to go for the explosive aerobrake option.

The craft exploded, part by part, until all that was left was the Command pod and the Life Support tank.

The TAC-LS tank took the heat like a Lv.50 Boss, and managed to keep the pod intact through reentry. ThEn I evacuated all the kerbals in it, but the last once left a bit later as he was collecting the science, but then when he got out and deployed his parachute - the other 2 kerbals had died somehow, even though their chutes were deployed as soon as they left, so its a bit sad.

But I got the science, so they were heroes.

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2 hours ago, Xurkitree said:


he got out and deployed his parachute - the other 2 kerbals had died somehow, even though their chutes were deployed as soon as they left, so its a bit sad.

But I got the science, so they were heroes.



Unless it as been changed (just returning after a long pause).

The things, including Kerbals, that are dumped in the atmosphere disappear from the game when they drift pass a certain distance.

Can't remember how much exactly.

It would be a way to reduce the number of parts with physic and not bog the game down.



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10 minutes ago, Martian Emigrant said:

The things, including Kerbals, that are dumped in the atmosphere disappear from the game when they drift pass a certain distance.

Yes, that is correct. I belive the physics radius is 2.5 km from your currently controlled vessel. Everything outside that sphere is due to be silently deleted by the game. This has bothered me on several instances. For those who use mods, there is a mod that extends that range, but I hear it can make thinks unstable.

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♫ Oh listen to my story about a kerbal named Jeb ♫ / ♫ A poor rocketeer who could barely keep his family fed ♫ / ♫ And when one day he was shooting towards the Mun ♫ / ♫ All the words from his mouth came a-bub-a-lin' crude... ♫ / 'Master Alarm', that is... and so forth.

Spent much my extended weekend checking to ensure my mods were working satisfactorily. They are - 1.6.1 is a go for me.

So yesterday saw the continuation of my 1.5.1 career save in 1.6.1. Having discovered something important about the Pathfinder mod during testing, I began the day with an adjustment to the TBD 7a base-seeding rover design, swapping the functions of the stowed Pondarosa and Casa modules and adding a Buffalo Bulldozer to the design. These changes didn't carry over to the rover I already had under construction at the Piper Alpha outpost on Mun, unfortunately, but they'll be in place for any future outposts I may wish to print up in the future. Plans are now in the works for a TBD variant capable of landing on Duna, a design that I will need very, very soon.

Having completed its scheduled tourist run on Friday, Strange Cargo departed Minmus's SOI and will return to Kerbin in 6 bols, 4 hours and change. The Non Caseus Yards over Mun finally completed the printing of the General Electric 7 XM jump-starting craft; the new probe was fueled but rather than send it on to the Dystopia Planitia shipyard over Kerbin as was planned, I decided to keep it in the drydock long enough to use NCY's Gigantor solar panels some time to give the GE's onboard capacitors a decent amount of charge (2000 megajoules, to be exact). A lot of things happened before the GE was finally released and burned for Kerbin, - which did happen. At this point I'm hoping it's got enough fuel on board to affect a final rendezvous with DP without the need for a refueling operation; something lied to me delta-v-wise somewhere along the line. Either that or I had a major brain fart the other day when I was designing the damn thing. Either is possible...

Piper Alpha did complete the aforementioned TBD rover -

Knowing what I know now, I realize the flaws in this design. The saddle tanks, though convenient, don't act as resource distributors - that's probably the biggest issue with it. Shouldn't have been afraid to use the Buffalo Wagon for the job.

Pilot Patrod Kerman, scientist Dilbur Kerman and engineer Haydorf Kerman departed aboard the TBD, which was fueled from Piper Alpha's stores. The three kerbals drove the new rover to a relatively flat spot 3 kilometers to the west of PA, at which point Haydorf got out and set up the new outpost, which was designated Mun Outpost 1. The base is fulfilling a new Mun outpost contract and I don't really intend to do anything with it, so it'll be abandoned once its contract has been fulfilled. Unfortunately, to fulfill it I will need to add a lab module - those things take a long time to print up and they weigh 3.5 tonnes, so I don't have enough kerbals available for the final mounting right now. Fortunately, there is more staff available at Piper Alpha and it's only three klicks off, so I can go get them when the time comes and then start ferrying everybody back. Meanwhile, I'm prepping up the necessary Materials Kits to print the lab. I'm estimating three days there.

The Pink Noise 7 communications satellite carrier probe being printed up aboard LSV House Harkonnen in polar orbit over Duna was completed and released; the new probe burned for an equatorial orbit over Ike using conventional drive and established itself in the proper target orbit. The two sub-satellites were released and after about two hours and 45 minutes of maneuvering were also put into their final positions. With the Ikecomm Alpha, Bravo and Charlie in place, Ike has an initial communications constellation over it; this also fulfilled an exploration contract to Orbit Ike - next up is to perform a spacewalk over Ike, get some science and then return a craft from Ike orbit; Harkonnen is scheduled to head that way today for fulfilling these objective and for putting one final Pink Noise in polar orbit over Ike. Meanwhile, a Gumdrop 7 surface scanner probe-lander was printed up aboard Harkonnen as well and began using a narrow-beam scanner to look for suitable locations for Pathfinder bases. 

Didn't even have to release the Gumdrop from the bay before it found a promising biome on the Dunan surface...

The Gumdrop has been released from Harkonnen in preparation for the warp ship's departure. It's continuing gathering orbital data; so far, the red planet is looking very promising for the establishment of a Pathfinder outpost.

Next Objective and Necessary Evil both arrived in Minmus's SOI, carrying fifteen colonists between them bound for the Deepwater Horizon outpost on the surface. Next Objective lucked out with a rendezvous with space station Minmusport at orbital insertion, docking almost immediately upon arrival. Necessary Evil docked some time later, at which point the colonists departed for DH aboard a Crater Maker 7 8-passenger lander in a pair of excursions. All fifteen colonists are now safely tucked away in one DH's three Castillo domes, where they'll remain for the next 48 days (after which I will be quite a good bit richer). Some of the new Pathfinder parts were also printed up at Deepwater Horizon. Sadly, I also had to retire the outpost's Rangeland launchpad, which had managed to bury itself below the minty surface. Final installation of the new structures (including a new launchpad) will take place as soon as possible, as will the departure of Next Objective and Necessary Evil now that they have accomplished their delivery missions.

Other things that happened included the completion of a McFeely Sr. 7 speedy delivery module at Non Caseus and the completion of a Power Tools experiment at space station Kerbinport. The McFeely is heading towards the Stevie Wonder 7 solar observatory over Mun, where it is scheduled to pick up a gravioli wave experiment to return to Kerbin; the plan was originally to deliver this experiment back to Kerbin post-haste but at this point it may make a stop at Kerbinport to pick up the Power Tools experiment before proceeding to entry. The alternative is to print one up at Dystopia Planitia, which will be engaged with the construction of LSV House Atreides for at least the next six days. Lots of other little things going on right now; much of it is waiting for things to get done.

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Made a random mining/ferry rover for minmus and mun:


It became interesting as the crew cabin didnt have any entrance except at the back so i had to make a bit of a walkway thing in the middle of everything but it gets the job done.

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