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This was recently and nearly 40,000 tons at launch, a new record for me, the NF Construction Octo Girder tanks are 3.75m and 8 of the tanks are full of LFO, the other two being xenon. The SRBs are 10m. And the little nose cone at the top totally made all the difference <cough>. The thing is, as long as you have good gimbaling engines and an appropriate amount of reaction wheel force, the 40,000 ton rocket isn't that much more difficult than smaller launches.

The launcher had to be this big as this is a 2.5x game, you could get away with 7 or 8m SRBs at stock scale. For some reason KER reads the thrust wrong on the BFR engine cluster, so TWR is wrong and the second stage has about 2x that Dv as we're on atmo here. Dv for Icarus Station at a 750k orbit is about 5700.



SRBs entering into a proper Korolev Cross...


Both the SRBs and this big monster booster are fully recovered.


Also required a significant number of large 5-way RCS clusters, most out on the fuel tanks as otherwise there'd be no way to roll that much mass. Can't remember the exact mass of the arm itself, but from the mass of the station I would guess around 2,000t. And it was docked manually, again if you have enough monoprop and thruster force, 2k tons isn't that different from docking 20 tons. You just go slow, deal with one axis at a time, and use time compression to move things along. The other resource arm you see already docked is hydrolox and was considerably lighter.



Edited by vossiewulf
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My Jool fleet departed today.  So much fun - ~2200 m/s maneuver nodes, one after the other.  All 13 of them. 

The Laythe heavy fuel station - being moved by a fusion tug - was the worst.  First, it defaulted to the wrong control point, so it immediately started spinning in circles when thrust was applied.  Very, very fast circles.  Made it nearly impossible to get the correct control point selected, then it took a while to actually get the spinning stopped.  Once I got that under control & started thrusting again, the engine gimbal was high enough that it was threatening to shake the craft apart.  I had to turn it down to 10% to get it stable enough to finish the maneuver.   The 6 large thermal control system panels plus 4 large flat radiators were barely enough to keep the engine from overtemping - this was only maybe 2 minutes into the maneuver.


At least Jeb & company have a month before their fusion-powered craft is due to go.  And once it departs Kerbin, it will have just under a 1 year trip before reaching Jool.   A crew of newbies, however, is taking the slow boat to Jool.  One of the 13 that headed out today.  Pictured here with a Lightning spaceplane bringing the crew up to transfer to the Calypso before heading on their way.


The brightest spot of my day - my Eeloo Voyager arrived at Eeloo & entered orbit.  At least it was less then a 2000 m/s maneuver for a change



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Today was quite a boring day of running Tourists around the Mun and back for funds. I did manage to use the missions to land in Kerbin's north and south polar areas and collect surface samples, though, and I've collected almost enough funds for the next KSC upgrade.


Tomorrow that will get done and then I'll go and land on the Mun.

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A couple of months into my new Breaking Grounds career I decided it was time to establish some new fancy ground based science on Mun and Minmus.

Since I'd just added a Minmus Science Station in orbit and needed some science for it I started with the Minmus base.

Designed a lander with science instruments and a cargo container.

Worked as a charm, ground installation placed and activated and good science brought back to the station.

Time to repeat it on the mun.

Everything smooth until I'm about to leave the Mun, a quick glance on the dV readout tells me that there's no chance in Gehenna that this craft will get back into orbit.

Ok, redesign a Mun lander with more fuel and w/o the science cargo container and send it to rescue the stranded pioneers.

Thanks to MecJeb I get a perfect parallel parking 30m from the stranded craft, and using EVA Fuel Transfer (I always add it to every craft as soon as possible) I transfer most of the remaining fuel from the stranded lander, ship the crew and the science over, takes off and docks at the Munar Science Station in Orbit.

But I didn't transmit _all_ the fuel from the failed lander, I left some for a purpose.

Since I almost always add a spare control core even to manned crafts I could remote control the failure straight up to 10k and then had it crash back almost on top of the passive seismic experiment.

So the failed lander became a successful impactor :)


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(1.6.1) Screenie-heavy post today. Consider yourselves warned.

I wound up spending most of my day yesterday getting nine colonists to the Alexander L. Kielland outpost on the surface of Eve. Having landed the Cigarette 7 Eve Descent Vehicle last thing on Monday, yesterday began with the descent of the larger Cigar 7 Eve Descent Vehicle with six kerbals aboard.

The Surgeon General advises that attempting to land on Eve may be hazardous to your health...

The craft came down relatively safely about 34 kilometers to the west of ALK.

The poodle of it is that this is the second landing - the craft came down intact on the first try but it got reverted later on. F5 is your friend, kids.

With the Cigar safely on the ground, the next order of business - and what turned out to be the only other thing I managed to accomplish yesterday - was Next Objective's trans-Gilly injection burn, which went off without too much correction required afterwards. She's now on course for Gilly and should arrive at periapsis in just over 29 hours.

That job done, I next went to the Echo 4 8-passenger quadcopter. I had moved the thing off to the south of ALK a few weeks ago before the Beer Can 7 launch (to help minimize any potential collateral damage from first stage boosters colliding into the ground), so first was a short flight over to ALK to pick up engineer Gilford Kerman (my first revert point of the day - the 'copter got going horizontal and I couldn't correct before it tore itself apart; second attempt was more successful). While I was at ALK, I also went ahead and took the opportunity to do a quick refueling mass driver shot to space station Eveport.

Gilford running to Echo 4. Cue the Chariots of Fire music.

Once Gilford was aboard, Echo 4 flew eighty kilometers to the east to the landing site of the Cigarette 7.

Can't believe all these people leaving their used Cigarettes just lying on the ground. That's how forest fires get started, you schmucks...

Gilford got out and detached one of Echo 4's Mineshaft ports, attaching it to the Cigarette and then linking the two craft together. Colonists Taning, Wenster, Stephanie and Connor Kerman transferred over to Echo 4, at which point Gilford detached the Cigarette and grabbed the Mineshaft off of it. That job done, Gilford was then put on litter pickup patrol.

You know, smoking that much that fast is liable to kill you, Gilford...

After Gilford re-boarded Echo 4, the 'copter then flew 107 kilometers to the west, to the landing site of the Cigar 7.

Kerbolset on Eve.

Now, did I have six kerbals on this thing, or just five? In truth I've lost count - so the question is, do you feel lucky, punk? (Paraphrasing a bit much there, I know...)

Gilford did much of the same drill again with the Cigar 7, but stopped short of recycling the craft completely. Echo 4 only has ten seats in total, and after colonists Helvan, Jendun, Hadred, Valkin and Malnand Kerman along with tourist Theosy Kerman had boarded, all ten of those seats were full. It was thirty-plus kilometers to ALK from the Cigar's landing site and there was no reason to suspect that Gilford could hold on to the ladder all that way (and I sure as hell didn't try to do just that and had to revert again when Gilford inevitably fell off the damn ladder),  so instead, Gilford improvised some extra seating - namely, he took two of the Mk-1 cabins off the Cigar and bolted them on to Echo 4, then recycled what was left of the Cigar.

An ugly kludge, but it worked. Sure am glad those Mk-1 cabins don't weigh more than they do...otherwise, this would never have worked.

Once Gilford got back aboard, the flight back to ALK was fairly routine.

After a long day, the base was a welcome site, even with it still mysteriously floating several meters off the surface in spots...

At landing, Gilford hooked up Echo 4 to the base and all ten of the 'copter's passengers disembarked to the Castillo module, where they'll sit for the next 36 days (the exception there is Theosy - a tourist, he's ready to go back to Kerbin at this point). Gilford detached the 'copter from the base, restored Echo 4 to its pre-kludge beauty, and then returned to ALK's Castillo Factory to continue work on the Zima 7 Eve Ascent Vehicle (i.e. Theosy's ride). Work there will conclude in another eleven hours.

This morning, after a long voyage back from Minmus (I seriously would have to check my posts on this thread to see exactly when she departed), Strange Cargo finally got back to Kerbin with scientists Malgar and Pasted Kerman aboard. After aerobraking and flight to a 290k apoapsis, the craft put into her assigned berth at space station Kerbinport an hour later, with Malgar and Pasted transferring to the station's lab module. That task complete and nothing else going on until the Zima launch, I went ahead and had LSV House Harkonnen break Eve orbit and warp to Kerbin; she arrived going 17,232 m/s and immediately commenced warp-back maneuvers for braking. As of this post, she's completed thirteen warp-backs and has slowed to about 15 kps. Getting Harkonnen into orbit is my first priority next session. Once she's in orbit, the plan is to deorbit the Bill Clinton 7c grabber probe she's carrying, which itself is hauling Tomwise's Craft back from Ike. I also plan to de-orbit the G-LOC 7a return-to-Kerbin craft that Harkonnen hauled out to Pol for flyby, with the hope of getting a go-ahead for Pol orbit. Should that occur, LSV House Atreides is already in orbit of Jool ready to head out there in order to deploy comm satellites into polar Polar orbit, and the process of selecting a base site will also begin. Aside from the upcoming Zima launch, the only other things on my KAC calendar are putting a Nostromo 7 resource lander into a high orbit over Jool in a few days, and Next Objective's arrival at Gilly. What all happens today is going to depend on what happens when the G-LOC comes down (intact), assuming I get to that point. Hoping to get to go to Pol soon.

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Your kUber Eats is almost here, so be ready


The New Evepod is ready. It's stable on land and sea, and all its features are functioning. That includes cargo carrying and security.


It has many science instruments, including  17 cameras, (6 engineering, 6 wide angle, 3 angled for publicity footage,  2 forward navigation, 1 extra for back navigation, and) including one which they bolted on at the last minute after realising the equipment lifting arm could double as a mast.

KSP challenge idea: Operate your vessel only from IVA, and camera view


There's something quintessentially KSP about having a weird payload, so  launching  it between two rockets stuck together.


It was only once in orbit that I noticed Starbug's crew was smuggling xenon.


They say it was "Ballast from balancing the engine thrust you forgot to remove", But I don't think I should believe them.

I've decided to move my kerbals forward into the future, and establish on the Mun.


Using  Kerbal Konstructs, I set up a  big radio observatory  on the farside, inspired by a talk I went to the other night.
No radio interference out there. 


When you have been waiting on the Mun for so long, 


They start settlement  up without you,  next to you.


Edited by Tw1
Evepod, Starbug, Prograde City, and Kerbmobile if I can make it work... I'm slowly rebuilding the world from my old Oceans of Eve
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I had some time this morning, so I fast-forwarded a month & got Jeb and the rest of the vets going to Jool.   ETA is just 397 days to a Tylo intercept - which only required a small correction burn (<70 m/s) immediately after leaving Kerbin SoI.  No mid-course correction needed, and I don't even think it'll need any in-system correction before intercepting Tylo - Pe is pretty low as-is and the intercept is right where it needs to be, near the craft's Jool Pe.   And I still have 67000 m/s dV remaining for the capture and any in-system maneuvers. 

Docking to transfer crew.  The nose segment will get transferred to DSV-01 Alderaan and make the round trip to Jool & back so I have a ready made "return to Kerbin from...." craft that is light enough not to seriously impact the DSV's dV.


Starting 3800 m/s Jool transfer maneuver.  Even with the fusion drive, it only accelerates at <0.6 g, so it take a few minutes.  This smaller fusion drive is kept cool by the 4 large thermal control system panels - they maxed out & the engine heated up to something like 835 K within maybe two minutes & stayed steady for the rest of the maneuver.


Maneuver complete, it will take just over 4 hours to clear Kerbin's Soi


I also had a minor problem and 2 random part testing on Kerbin contracts, so I made a solution to all 3 and ended up with a nice little light launch vehicle by accident.  The problem was I have a contract to "return to Kerbin from the surface of Eve" and my Eve lander has no provisions for reentry or landing - it was supposed to return the single crewman to Eve station then get sent to crash back into Eve.  Happily, I have KIS & KAS, so attaching the crew capsule to the crew cycler for the trip home is no problem, but getting the pod to actually land intact needs some work.  So I launched a probe with docking port, RCS, parachutes & heatshield.  The 2 part test contracts were for a "Cub" vernier engine & a Boostertron I SRB (from a mod, made for giving a small boost for 30 seconds).  So I built what is now the Steamglider launch vehicle - two 1.875m long tanks, a Kodiak engine with 4 Cub's, the 4 Boostertron I SRB's on radial decouplers.   Lifted my Eve lander fixer thing up to a 135km Ap, and still had around 80-90 m/s dV remaining, but I went ahead & dumped it since the upper stage had around 1700 on its own.  With 4 Cubs for steering on a relatively light vehicle, that thing handled like a sports car.  As soon as the payload was in orbit, I went back to the VAB & saved the first stage as a subassembly for future use.


Finally, my Laythe ocean base was arriving at Tylo a day after Alderaan left Kerbin, so I went ahead and did that gravity assist with 2 small correction maneuvers that put it going straight into a Laythe intercept with ~120 km Pe.  Next step is putting it down safely, but the Laythe Explorer drone (which is my target) is on the night side so it'll have to wait



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(Sorry for google-translation)

Today I continued my career with USI Life Support. 


My veteran ship, which previously carried out the Ike-Duna mission , after a boring process of refueling and refitting (a large tank with fertilizers, new lander and probe was added), is ready for the Jilly-Eve mission.


The Arrival


Jilly. Due to the low gravity and the slope, the ship stands on one landing leg.


Spectacular descent


Probe landed & science transmitted


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I don't have any interesting screenshots, but I did start a career after not touching the game in a very long time. I spent about an hour trying to burn directly into orbit before I remembered that's not how it's done. 


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43 minutes ago, Randazzo said:

I don't have any interesting screenshots, but I did start a career after not touching the game in a very long time. I spent about an hour trying to burn directly into orbit before I remembered that's not how it's done. 

Eh, flying a rocket into orbit is like riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes...

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5 hours ago, capi3101 said:

Eh, flying a rocket into orbit is like riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes...

Flying a rocket is like electrifying a zucchini. At some point you inevitably stop and say what am I doing.

//filterpwned! I guess whiskey tango you know doesn't fly

Edited by vossiewulf
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(1.6.1) I've had a pretty good last 24 hours all told. 

With the delivery of her passengers in the Eve/Gilly SOI complete and a good week or so before they would need to be picked up again, LSV House Harkonnen broke orbit over Eve and warped to Kerbin late in the day on Tuesday. I opted for a direct warp instead of the slow-warp process, which unfortunately means that I arrived going way too fast to enter orbit and had begun the process of warp-back maneuvers to slow down. Yesterday began with the continuation of that process - after a grand total of 74 warp-backs (i.e. fly up to about 1,000,000 m, warp back down to 300,000, rinse and repeat for a good 35 minutes),  I finally got Harkonnen into a 582.1 x 491.1 kilometer, 3.75° inclined orbit over Kerbin. Once she was in orbit, the Bill Clinton 7c probe that was hauling Tomwise's Craft from Ike for a junk-and-kerbal contract departed Harkonnen, burning down to a 105.1 x 90.4 kilometer equatorial orbit. The G-LOC 7a craft that Harkonnen had hauled home from Pol departed next, and after burning down to a 108 x 97 equatorial orbit, I went ahead with final de-orbiting and entry. The probe came down safely about 81 kilometers to the west of KSC in the Highlands, completing the latest exploration contract. While entry was occurring, I received notice from the Deepwater Horizon outpost on Minmus that the two ongoing colonization contracts out there had concluded (picked up eight new crewmen out of ten in the process, a pretty good haul), and for good measure I had the Scan Queen outpost on Ike transmit a surface sample report to fulfill a sci contract. Finally, the Clinton deorbited, coming down safely eighteen klicks east of KSC and bringing Tomwise's rescue contract to a successful conclusion. 

Five contracts all done in rapid succession. Can't be too mad about that. Wish I'd taken better screenies there; the ones I had were all crap.

Went to Mission Control to pick up some new contracts next, obviously. Gave two of them passes with MC alarms set - picked up an ore hauling con job at Duna, a crew survey at Bop and the next exploration contract. I was thinking the next one would give me permission to orbit Pol, and it was an orbital contract...but for Vall instead. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I had LSV House Atreides conduct warp maneuvers for Vall from her parking orbit over Jool (she'd been there anticipating a go-ahead for Pol). She was able to enter orbit directly from warp last thing yesterday, having slowed sufficiently over Jool first. It was a fairly ugly orbit, but it was still enough to finish the contract. Next exploration contract: orbit Laythe, do a spacewalk and gather some science. While I'm anxious to do that one, it did occur to me that Atreides was already hauling a communications satellite carrier in her drydock and since she was there already, I could go ahead and set up the Vallcomm network. So this morning, I went ahead and put Atreides into a 382.1 x 267.7 kilometer, 89.3° orbit over the Mun that wouldn't be there if n-body physics were being utilized.  Once in position, Vallcomm Alpha was released.

Never mind the stenciling on the side that says "Polcomm"...

After launch, Vallcomm Alpha burned to a 348.3 x 234.4 kilometer polar orbit. The carrier is currently en-route to apoapsis (which is at the target altitude), where it'll circularize and drop off the other two sats. Meanwhile, Atreides has begun printing up ScanSat Vall, and will be done with that print in 62 minutes. Atreides will be headed towards Laythe as soon as the second satellite is complete. I do need to keep my eye on Atreides - her exotic matter tank is starting to get a little low for my taste. I mean, it's not even half-empty yet, but I still may want to have her do a quick sundive to recharge the thing at some point in the near future.

After setting up a circularization burn for Vallcomm Alpha, I got a call from the Alexander L. Kielland base on the surface of Eve - the print of the Zima 7 Eve Ascent Vehicle was complete.

Zima on the pad. Somebody trade that out for some real alcohol, would ya?

The base contains enough fuel for the much larger Beer Can 7, so fueling of the craft took place in fairly rapid order and I used Ship Manifest to load tourist Theosy Kerman aboard, his itinerary pretty much complete at this point. With no cause for delay, Zima 7 launched.

Hey, I didn't blow up the damn pad this time!!

Launch went pretty well - my third launch of a craft off the surface of Eve. I was a bit concerned about whether or not the craft would make orbit when I got down to the core stage, and panicked a little bit when it came time to get her periapsis up. As a result, the craft wound up in an 291.4 x 95.9, 0.76° inclined orbit, far more eccentric than I care for. 

Zima 7 over Eve. No, seriously - somebody get me some real alcohol...

But an orbit is an orbit. One of these days I'll figure out a good launch profile for Eve...just got to keep at it.

So today I'll probably begin by cleaning up the debris from the Zima launch, and then I'll dispatch St. Simeon Salus from space station Eveport to pick up the Zima payload (i.e. pretty much just the Lander Can) and haul it to Eveport. J. G. Backus is docked there ready to take Theosy back to whatever warp ship comes by to bring everybody home. I plan to drive or fly Tomwise out to the South Base outpost near KSC at some point today for assignment, and House Atreides is probably going to be heading to Laythe. I've also got satellites to position over Vall. Still looking for the go-ahead to orbit Pol; wish I hadn't short-circuited things there with inadvertent encounters in Jool's SOI these past few days. Then again, Pol's not particularly interesting to me (don't know why I feel that way, honestly - I'm still surprised the game wanted me to go to Jool before visiting Moho, honestly). Busy times right now - beats the alternative, though.

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Put a kerb on the North Pole.

wEird pHysics! yAy!

Ps. As a warning before you attempt this too, I've had many a kerbal killed by the weird physics at the pole. Try running over it at 4x physwarp, and that gets ugly quick. Proceed at your own risk. (I just know Danny2462 will make/has already made a video on this.)


Flew there on a stock Aeris 3A, which I find quite easy to fly and land. Especially on the large flat polar ice sheets.


Yeah, s3x is cool and all, but have you ever tried this?


It's impossible to get the flag any closer to the pole because the kerbal does the funky standing-on-air thing if you get too close. This is practically the closest possible distance a flag can be planted to the pole. And the camera gets funky.

Tomorrow, South Pole. But I gotta get sum sleep. Bai.

Edited by Ho Lam Kerman
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Put the first comm sat of my current save into a 5Mm orbit with a 75% solid fuel rocket (by both stage count and mass, as it happens). Deploying one ring halfway between Kerbin and Mun, and another that same distance past Mun.

Stage 1: 4x Boostertron III (RLA Stockalike)
Stage 2: BACC Thumper
Stage 3: SMAC PAM (RLA Stockalike)
Stage 4: LV-10-37 Rearguard (Lack's Stock Extension)


Sometimes the skies can be beautiful even without Scatterer.




Mk2 of the satellite, starting from the third launch, was given a different solar panel arrangement that can't be occluded by the antenna.


Edited by Guest
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I was supposed to this challenge. Right now.

But my laptop recently got its display dead. Tried resolving that according to the video HP Support made (Sijce my laptop is a 2012 HP Pavillion g4), but so far yields nothing but a black screen and a running HDD & fan.

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It took me a while, but I finally managed to make a helicopter that flies nice and stably, without flipping over and/or crashing into the ground.


I have the rotor blades deployed, and the authority limiter set to the throttle, so that I can alter descent/ascent rate in the same way that I would with engines. Those electric motors are really powerful, so I could use this craft to carry pretty heavy stuff if I need to.

I put solar panels on the top of the fuselage, but they don't produce power fast enough to feed the motors, meaning I have a net loss of electric charge. I might need to add some more hefty power sources...*cough*nuclear reactors*cough*. It also turns quite slowly, since it only has the torque from the Mk3 cockpit up front and one 2.5m reaction wheel in the back. I'll have to add a couple of extra magic torque machines to get it to move faster.

Edited by RealKerbal3x
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(1.6.1) Day yesterday went pretty much as expected. I began the reporting day at the Alexander L. Kielland outpost on Eve cleaning up the debris leftover from the early morning launch of the Zima 7 Eve Ascent Vehicle, which was mainly just a matter of turning on the recycler at the base's launch pad to get rid of the launch clamps - that took out the bulk of the debris right there. Game had one more piece of debris after that which I terminated in the Tracking Station. I made sure to shut the recycler off before heading off to do other things...wouldn't do to recycle a kerbal that just happened to be out on Eve's surface taking a stroll across it or something stupid like that.

With Zima in orbit, the next order of business was to dispatch St. Simeon Salus from Eveport to go retrieve the craft's payload. The launch put Zima only about thirty kilometers away from intercept (not planned, BTW), so it was a pretty short flight over - just thirty minutes to a rendezvous and docking. Once docked, the Zima's core booster stage was discarded.

Theosy pulled eleven gees in the orbital insertion burn. Doesn't look any worse for wear, though.

After de-orbiting the core booster stage, St. Simeon Salus began maneuvers to return to Eveport, coming to rendezvous 65 minutes later and docking safely.

This does mean that there can only be one kerbal to go down to the surface next time anybody's headed that way, unless I want to print up some more seats at some point...

Once docked, tourist Theosy Kerman transferred over to J. G. Backus docked at the station and I went ahead and leveled everybody up. Got some five-star tourists that are going to be headed back to Kerbin...I think Bob is still rated as a mere two-star kerbal...

LSV House Atreides in polar orbit of Vall finished its print of ScanSat Vall, and after loading fuel aboard the probe was cut loose and biome scanning commenced; I burned it down to a 150.3 x 148.7 kilometer polar orbit before the day was out. Because I finally figured out how to use KerbNet to my advantage, I was able to get readings on the Heavy Seven Resources (i.e. Rare Metals, Minerals, Rock, Metal Ore, Ore, Exotic Minerals and Uraninite) for all nine of Vall's biomes before the end of the day. When it comes time to put a base on Vall, it's looking like it'll have to be in the Northeast Basin - only it and the Poles had six of the seven resources (none of them had Rock, which is a faster alternative resource for Konkrete production and not required strictly speaking), and between the two the Basin had better numbers for Rare Metals and Minerals (the two prime resources for pretty much everything related to Pathfinder base building), while the rest of the numbers were still acceptable. I'm not particularly happy with the need to put the base in the Basin - it's not equatorial and the delta-V landing numbers for Vall are comparable to Moho, i.e. squarely between Mun and Duna. It's a fair pain in the butt to send landers down to the Piper Alpha outpost on Mun and Deepwater Horizon on Minmus thanks to the required plane change in both cases. Probably will be equipping the future space station Vallport with a Spamcan 7c lander - like at Duna - when the time comes. I'm still planning on using Kerbnet to help me find a suitable landing site. Hopefully I'll be able to accomplish that when the probe actually flies over the Basin; might be a while before I can do that yet.

Positioning of the Vallcomm communication satellite constellation occurred without incident yesterday, with all three probes reaching their target positions in a two-hour orbital period about 348 kilometers over Vall by the end of the day. 'Nuff said there.

Another finished triangle. Whoopee...

After the last of the sats were positioned, I went ahead and had engineer Thombles Kerman, who had recently been retrieved from orbit over Ike, drive the three kilometers out to the South Base outpost near KSC in a Wisent 7 utility rover.

Anybody got any Merle Haggard I can listen to?

Thombles arrived without much incident (aside from the unladen Wisent wanting to flip over end over end while trying to get it up to speed) and took up his new post in one of the base's Hacienda industrial modules, while the rover was recovered. I also finally was able to put the Nostromo 7 resource lander laden with Ore that I'd launched from Bop earlier this week into a 44,984.6 x 44,118.4 kilometer, 16.5° orbit over Jool for contract after a seven day flight. I'll probably be leaving that thing out there, barring the establishment of a high-altitude space station over Jool. Orbit's halfway between Vall and Tylo for those curious, and hopefully it's inclined enough not to ever encounter either of those two and kick the damn thing out of orbit.

With a new exploration contract to orbit Laythe, gather science and conduct a spacewalk there, my next order of business was to have House Atreides begin printing another Pink Noise 7 communications probe carrier and prepare to break orbit.

Let's see...yeah, it looks like we're definitely pointed at the target...

Atreides engaged her Alcubierre Drive and warped directly from Vall to Laythe, arriving seconds later at 3,200 m/s, too fast to enter orbit. Three warp-back maneuvers later, the ship settled down into a 469.1 x 392.8 kilometer, 6.47° inclined orbit over the watery moon. Jeb went on EVA, took a report and then got back aboard Gilligan docked to Atreides, and then transmitted his report back to KSC, completing the exploration contract. Next exploration contract: spacewalk over Vall. Damnation...

This morning I went ahead with plans to establish the Laythecomm communications satellite constellation. Atreides warped into a 460.1 x 388.6 kilometer, 91.9° orbit over Laythe and finished printing off the Pink Noise, which became Laythecomm Alpha upon launch.

Occurs to me that it might be tricky to really prove that I'm over Laythe instead of Kerbin when I'm taking these screenies. KER's surface readout - specifically the biome - helps out in this instance...

After Laythecomm Alpha launched, House Atreides got to work on ScanSat Laythe, which finished up just as my "shut the damn game off" alarm went off earlier this morning. Meanwhile I put Laythecomm Alpha into its final position in a circular polar orbit at 631.6 kilometers. Laythecomms Bravo and Charlie, which both decoupled from Alpha upon it reaching final position, are still heading to their final positions, having burned into a sixty minute and two-hour orbit respectively.

Today I'm liable to be finishing up the Laythecomm constellation and I'll be beginning biome scans at Laythe (God, I hope that there'll be a good spot for a base in one of the land biomes...). Atreides is also liable to be heading back to Vall for the spacewalk, and then I'll see where I'm at as far as exploration is concerned; for all I know, I'll be heading back to Pol finally. I still need to resupply Eveport and get a warp ship back out that way to pick up tourists heading home (some from Gilly as well as Theosy and a few at Eve), and I've got an ore drilling con job to pull at Duna. Got an MC alarm about to expire; I'll see if anything interesting comes of it as well. Not much else I'm anticipating right now; see y'all on Monday morning unless something worth mentioning occurs before then.

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Why hello, guess who's here. I'm back from the South Pole!

Nothing too different this time. Weird physics, Jeb standing on air again, and general madness. In fact, if you showed me a pic from my north pole expedition and my south pole expedition, honestly I wouldn't be able to tell which one, so I'm not posting pics.

The major exception here is that while when flying to the North Pole, you mainly fly over land, while when flying to the South Pole it's ocean all the way to the ice shelves.

But this time, to prevent it from getting a little too repetitive and boring, I actually taxied the plane to the hangar and then walked Jeb back to the astronaut center. Just because.

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It's been a busy two days for my career - the Laythe ocean base splashed down safely, the Lynx-Laythe 6x6 amphibious rover landed as well, my Eve crew started their trip home, both my Jool  & Eeloo com relays entered their intended orbits and then a whole pile of course correction maneuvers from my Jool fleet.

Laythe ocean base ready for entry


Chutes deployed.  It's in the water ~60 km from where the Laythe Explorer drone landed


Splashed down with Jool peaking over the horizon.


Lynx-Laythe rover descending - the Laythe Explorer is about 6.5 km away, on the other side of the hill in the background


There's that geyser.  I also passed a boulder on the driver over, but I don't have an active contract to scan a boulder, so I let it be for now.


Scan in progress.  Laythe Explorer is visible in the background.


Eve crew getting ready to depart.  The Eve Lander is docked to the nose for the return trip


Last sunset on Eve


I also popped in to check on my Duna crew and caught a rare evening without a dust storm.   The SAFER reactor is humming away, providing all necessary power, so all the solar panels have been stowed for safety.



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