Establishing an establishment on the beautiful moon of Minmus (Revived in 2019)

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In the "What-did-you-do-in-KSP-today" thread, I announced my intention to create some kind of settlement on Minmus.

It would be in a lovely spot I named Starfield Plateau.



I launched several modules, but I'm just going to briefly describe two.

Firstly, the main module of the M.I.S.S.S. itself.

It was dropped from a giant skycrane.


Samford really should've found somewhere better to stand, eh?



Launching such huge things is quite a struggle, but I'm glad I did it.

The second part is the Tower of Minmus.

Serves as fuel depot, though the kethane processing equipment has not arrived yet.

I eventually launched it as a three stage contraption, using most of the fuel it could hold to get it into orbit.



Then, It was a fiddly-atmosphere hugging rendezvous to get some more fuel into it. But after that, I still didn't have enough to land on Minmus. So two of those mainsails had to go.


But, I had some equipment mounted on to those engine pods I needed at Minmus. So Danble engaged in some complex EVA activities to recover them. I ended up loosing one, but 3/4 is better than 2/4.


This thing turns really slowly. I used mechjeb for the final landing, as it had more chance of success.

But, as it touched the ground, there was a problem. The engines extended past the landing legs, and with only two, the whole structure was at risk of toppling over.

I had to drop my engine pods.


The thing is though, those pods were meant to be sent of into space after I'd collected the vehicle from the top. However, lacking control systems of their own, there was now no way to do this.


Danble agreed to attempt one of his most dangerous tricks yet. Some of those vehicles had somehow doubled up on seats, and I use the KAS plugin.


Just a question of letting go fast, and not killing yourself...


Success! Danble's RCS was more than enough to save him.

After the second one was also put on its final trajectory, the tower was ready.


Now, they've just got to wait until the kethane equipment arrives. The miner itself has not yet been made, and I haven't done any kethane scans yet, but the Minmus Institute is full of optimism. Hard not to be in a place so shiny and mysterious. :cool:

Started writing this for a post in the "What-did-you-do-in-KSP-today" thread, but it got too long. Now it's got a thread of its own, I may continue, and write about it a bit more, perhaps.

Edited by Tw1

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Impressive base modules; I like your launch-all-at-once method, it's much simpler than building it on the ground.

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I like your launch-all-at-once method, it's much simpler than building it on the ground.

It is! Much easier to just launch a whole building, then having to make them all in a way that they can move into position. That said, I will probably attempt that method some day. Launching big things can be pretty tricky too.

The latest thing I launched was the third major structure for the settlement.

First, I avoid collapsing on the launchpad. Failed to achieve orbit, added more struts, clamps and boosters until it would get into orbit. Rebooted after a few crashes. All pretty standard stuff.


Going up, I realise I had forgotten to fix my staging. Quick modifications on the fly.


Going up slowly. Getting speed, but not altitude. Activated the final stage for extra help, and burn with fingers crossed.

Cleared the atmosphere.

Then, used fuel from the lifter stage to refuel the lighter , and therefore more efficient final stage.


Burned at apoapsis, and there we have it. Hotel Minmus is finally in orbit around Kerbin.


Celebratory dance around room, transfer burn, post to forums, now time to sleep.

Edited by Tw1

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Last night, the Kethane equipment arrived.

First, a Kethane transporting vehicle, I'm calling Kethtruck.


Touched down a little to the north of the Minmus Tower. Small problem: Welcome to Minmus, where wheels hardly work. It crawls along only a little faster than a kerbal can walk. Fortunately, its primary means of getting around is with its vertical thrusters. Here, wheels are more for fine positioning.

But there also was a large problem. Every time I re loaded the vehicle would jump up 10 meters into the sky, with all its wheels broken. Sometimes it drifted a bit too. Problem.


To fix this problem, I had Danble Kerman pull grab some spare* landing legs, and install them on the rover. I also pulled some spare solar panels of the tower, and put them on the roof of the vehicle, as it was using its RTG power too rapidly.

This fixed the issue, something must've been wrong with the ground contact.

*I say spare, but truth is, I hyperedited these in. If the game gives unfair errors, I let myself cheat a bit to fix them.

Next, the Kethane converter. Mechjeb was supposed to handle the last bit of the landing, and get it right over a pre placed marker, but it failed me, I did that bit manually. It touched down next to the tower, while neither of my Kerbals on site were looking. I bet they got a surprise when they finally turned around.


When the finally noticed it, they got straight to work, connecting it up to the Tower's tanks, and moving parts about.

Engineering had forgotten to launch the Kethtruck with winches attached, so Danble moved over the spares from the converter.


Next object to enter Minmus's SOI was the Kethane drill itself, with the scanner. I put in in a slightly inclined orbit to scan regions around the Base.

The results were very good.


In fact, a little too good. Kethane, kethane everywhere! All over the base, and I wanted to use my flying rover...


I landed the drill a little to the north of the tower. This will keep the dust away...

Did a test drill and it worked! The Minmus Institute will have a good supply of fuel.


Meanwhile, in LKO:

I launched a version of this shuttle to serve as a return vehicle in the event of an emergency, but somehow, that one vanished. This base has a big budget, so I launched another.

It has 16 seats in the cargo hold, as well as the three in the cockpit. Should be enough.


On Minmus, Anlin took the Kethtruck for a fly.


Landing at 15m/s, Anlin pulled the rover into a sliding stop. You daredevil Anlin.


Unfortunately, when Anlin went to plant the flag, a KSC logo, rather than that of the M.I.S.S.S. popped out.

This was unacceptable.

She quickly uprooted that flag, plugged the rover into the drill, then flew of to the main module to collect an edition of the proper flag.

She'd have to have a look at the tower's dispenser later.

Lastly, Danble noticed that the converter still had its rockets on, and they were cluttering the place up.

He drained the fuel into the tower,


Then let them go.

Edited by Tw1

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The next few modules are up! This one is the main habitation module for the base.



The Minmus Hotel. Accommodation for institute members, and their guests. Located about 3.3 km away from the main laboratories, so that EM waves from the Bistro & Disco don't interfere with the equipment. The other wing is the space lounge.

Next, the Sh'tuule (Formerly Shtuule) landing. It still seems odd, landing a plane backwards like this. The final landing was done with the chemical engines, to avoid irradiating the ground.



As the main way of getting around here is with the jetpack, and they might be going to need monopropellant in the future, we'll need a big storage tank for that.

That's what this is:


However, it just ran out of fuel before touch down, and wasn't quite close enough to conect up. To fix this, I used the reaction wheels to wiggle it closer to the intended spot. Then Melmy and Philner linked the modules with ease.


But having no fuel left adds another problem- my usual method for booster disposal is not going to work. Attempted to push them down the slope.


This didn't work so well. But I might be able to get rid of them another way.

Orbital scans revealed a reasonable ore deposit a short way away from the base, so I could potentially have a craft building facility here. Which will probably should include a recycler rover.


There were two more modules landed in the last flotilla, but that'll be in the next post. Untill then:


Parachutes on an airless moon? Why would I include that....

Edited by Tw1

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As the forty five or so who looked at the last one probably guessed, today, I'm testing my emergency fast return system.

Also, potential execution device.


But first, other modules! All nine of them!


Hey, don't groan. Ok, just three.

These will make up the Minmus Institute's own launchpad. Getting them into orbit intact was no easy feat, and then, it turns out they needed landing legs. And more power.

Sidtrey bolted on a docking port, to make addition of this solar tower possible.


Then it was a case of moving all the attached legs into the right spots.


And before too long, the little space center was bolted together on the ground, and ready to go.

It doesn't have any metal supply yet though, so Danble was free to play around with this mechjeb unit, left floating when the pad unfolded.

Supposed to be a GIF, but is only working when you click on it.


Now, that cannon. I brought in a Kerbal who has experience in these kind of things.


He's landing from orbit with his rocket pack there.

After a stop at the tower to refuel, Wehrwin jetted of to the cannon, ready for launch.


Five, four, three..


It was so quick I couldn't even use [ or ] to switch to him. Had to do it in map view.

Look at the speed!


My trajectory was not the best- I'll try a greater angle next time. Also, the eva parachute I'd picked up had vanished when he unloaded after launch. Small issue.

Soon, as in, while I was still adjusting the trajectory, we could see all of Minmus.


I managed to get it to pass within Kerbin's atmosphere. It would be an 18 hour flight, which wouldn't be a problem, except that I'd neglected to disable the life support mod.

*POOF* Bye bye Wehrwin. F9.

That was an anticlimax. Next time, maybe.

(Have a shot of him safely on the roof of M.I.S.S.S's main module, 100% not asphyxiated.)


Edited by Tw1

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So... he died, then got better? :D

I like the base modules - they remind me somewhat Space: 1999's Moonbase Alpha. Um, just to be sure, you're not storing any nuclear waste up there... are you?

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So... he died, then got better? :D

I like the base modules - they remind me somewhat Space: 1999's Moonbase Alpha. Um, just to be sure, you're not storing any nuclear waste up there... are you?

Well, two of the modules still in orbit.. Nope! Though a case could be made that Minmus's stable geography and crystally surface would be quite nice for storage of such waste, my operation here is strictly for science. We can't have Kerbin's elite scientists being more irradiated than they would be just going to space!

Which reminds me, I must go find those old RTGs I put somewhere..

Quit making me feel bad for not being able to do anything close to what you do!

Don't worry, it comes with time! I've had the game for almost a year now. Also, mods. KAS, and LLL are great for building things. Kerbal alarm clock makes having many simultaneous flights more manageable, and most of these flights were partially automated using mechjeb. Also, this was done bit by bit over many days.

Edited by Tw1

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Time for Wehrwin's return, round II!

This time, with life support that will last, Wehrwin readied for launch when the cannon was pointed Minmus retrograde.


However, this turned out to be a bad idea. Turns out a mainsail on Minmus fires a kerbal fast enough for a retrograde Kerbin escape trajectory.


Sorry Wehrwin.


Wehrwin's return, round III

Despite having had bad dreams about getting lost in space the previous night, Wehrwin got up bright and ready for today's stunt.


He would fire when the cannon was about half way between pointing at Kerbin, and pointing retrograde.

I also managed to get the trick of switching to him in the short time he stays in range, so there is a chance he'll hold on to that parachute for safe landing on Kerbin.


Trajectory looks good! Just got to burn a little bit that way, and a little bit that way...

Minmus's landforms were used as a reference.


About 20 hours later, he succeeded in an aerobraking pass. Having almost no fuel left, there would be no picking of landing sites.


Helmet first, that's the safest way to do it.


Damn it Wehrwin, that's not helmet first. You're starting to get too much like Jeb.

Soon, he began to descend into the lower atmosphere. Ready to land, he deployed his Parachute.


...And that's when the game crashed. :(:huh:

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Cool. Now THAT is what I call fun! I haven't gotten to the point where I can do stuff like that, I'm working on my first unassisted (IVA) flight into orbit. I know it's just a matter of numbers, most of which are available (you know, the way people did it before mechjeb and transfer nodes!). But yeah, that's cool, real cool :cool:.

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Really?,I thought everyone had.It's flat,has the lowest D/v requirement,Low gravity,looks stunning,allows geo-sync orbits,and has a decent quantity of kethane.

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I haven't gotten to the point where I can do stuff like that, I'm working on my first unassisted (IVA) flight into orbit.

Oo, don't think I've tried that yet. Landed by IVA, but not the entire launch.

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The big base thingy, is that one single part?

You mean the one featured in the flag? It's about 122 parts, from memory, but if what you mean was "Were segments docked together?" Nope, the whole thing and its skycrane were launched on one huge rocket. Which broke apart over, and over and over again...

About 300 tons scraped into orbit that day, which is about the upper limit for things I've succeeded to launch.

Though future plans do include adding on the new science lab thing as an extra wing, I'll be linking that with KAS tubes.

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Cools. Just hope the Minmus crew don't abuse their new launchpad and mining getup to, say, launch an invasion of Kerbin unauthorized expeditions!

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The launchpad is not much use without a supply of parts. Here is the newish processing station on the side of the plateau.


Everything is here except the parts delivery vessel. The design I had waiting in orbit turned out to be pretty rubbish. So I scraped it. Via lithobraking.

The sloping site prompted me to make some unusual designs.


All these modules are holding on using KAS cables, for extra stability. KAS cables also link them together.

Landing it was pretty smooth, though there were some issues with modules pulling on each other, and shifting around.

Though there was one lithobraking overshoot incident while moving KAS ports around.


While ejecting the boosters of the drilling module, I ran into an issue. One had a mechjeb unit, and would fly true, but the other lacked any control source, and kept smashing into a (closed) solar panel.

It was Anford Kerman's turn to do a dangerous stunt. I put her on the very edge of that mischievous booster, hoping to alter its trajectory enough to clear the panel.




Oh yeah. Something weird happened to a few vessels with spherical tanks, and they are now held together by strange forces.

But that's ok, the Institute's many scientists are very excited about this, and will be thoroughly investigating the phenomenon.

Turned out to be a bug with ST's models being in a root part.

There were a few odd things that happened after the update to 0.23. The Hotel and Tower are both tipping over slightly now- the kerbals are blaming Minmus theorised freeze-melt cycle that resulted in those smooth landforms. The fleet of starbugs also needed to be shifted back a bit.


I don't think I mentioned the Starbugs. They were kind of the reason this base got started- I was exploring with a prototype when I found the site. Thought I'd make a caravan park of starbugs. Starbug Ridge has a few different models.


Today, I began setting one up for a mission to Ike.

Wehrwin, back after adventures on the Mun, is presenting the fully fueled ship to Anlin.


"She's all yours."

A science pack was flown over on RCS, and docked to Starbug's top port.


And then, the carrier section was disposed of in the typical way. I really should set up that recycling system.


This one is going interplanetary, but others will be used here on Minmus, to deploy experiments for science.

Edited by Tw1

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So... your emergency evac method is to fire Kerbals back to Kerbin with a Mainsail cannon?

That is amazing.

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Is Minmus now getting the attention it wants, that lil' iceball? :P

It will, but it will have to wait. There's some missions important to the long term future of the Eve/moon base story that are scheduled to depart first.

So... your emergency evac method is to fire Kerbals back to Kerbin with a Mainsail cannon?

Yep! What could possibly go wrong?

As the shuttle I sent up to be the escape vessel exploded due to shifting location during the update, at the moment it's the only way back. Starbug can't do Kerbin landings.

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It's been a while.

Welcome back to The


The research establishment, on Starfield Plateau, above the butterfly-shaped lake.

The M.I.S.S.S. has not been dormant. They've launched missions, run experiments:

This one is about physiology.


And this one is about uh, astrophysics.


Today, I'm going to tell you about three new modules: the long awaited processing lab, and equipment for the Minmus space center.

The science extension, and new spacecraft workshop were based on the same, M.I.S.S.S. style design. As a result, the design used to launch one, could be used again for the second:


Four hours later: A Minmus bound technician takes one last look at KSC, and the fields of Kerbin.


However, one thing the M.I.S.S.S. hasn't been doing is exploring Minmus, and returning data to Kerbin. Plans are underway to put that right. A Starbug lander was flown from the ridge to the main kethane drill, for refueling.



However, as soon as it was hooked up, I realised there was no kerthan converter. Opps.

Fortunately, there was enough fuel in the flying rover to fill Starbug.


I'll have to fix that. Now, back to those modules:



First to arrive was the lab. This had no power generators of its own, relying on batteries and solar panels on the boosters. I was also imagining only two days worth of life support for the kerbals on board. It had to be brought down ASAP, even though that meant landing in the dark.


Landing was a success. It took some wiggling about to get it into position, but soon Joelee Kerman was hooking it up.


Then, the lights it was delivered with were redistributed around the base for ambiance.


Note that I haven't ejected the boosters. I have plans for those boosters...

Next, the workshop. Essential for EPL to work, since a few updates ago. This arrived almost half a day after the lab. It's considerably heavier, and harder to maneuver. This was also landed in the dark, but I was unable to get it right on target. So they waited until it was light again.


It took a lot of filling about to get this bit where I wanted it- right between the shadows. But once it was hooked up, the Minmus Space Center was operational once more.


Which brings me to the last module for today:

This one was not send from Kerbin. It was built on Minmus.


It's a recycling bin.

It was a little uncooperative at first, Lansted got it moving with a solid headbut.


To steer, I found switching of the motors on one side to be most effective.


Again, I was a stickler for precision.


Bin in place, time to lose the wheels. Self disposal!

The red light is to warn kerbals away.



Now, time to clean up.

I flew two of the boosters into the bin. Then I got curious. How many new parts did I get from them?


If you use EPL, you've might have spotted my mistake.

I checked the amount of rocket parts I had stored. Then, scraped a third one with the bin. To my surprise, it did not change.

Then I realised. It recycles them to metal. Derp.

I had no metal storage on this thing. I had just waisted three boosters.


This must be fixed. I'm going to launch a metal storage depot, and put things right.

See you next time.


What mods are you using?

I'm using a whole bunch, but the ones that feature here most are Lack Luster Labs, Kethane, Extraplanetary Launchpads, Spherical and Toroidal Tanks, Kerbal Attachment System, Mechjeb, Jeb's big stick, Environment Visual Enhancements, Texture Replacer, and a few others.

Edited by Tw1

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