katateochi

The Wrong Brothers - career mode done differently (pic heavy)

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Great moon missions! But you may want to fix the line, "After all that time crapped in a small craft, Jeb earned a rest...". I know the general public always wants to know how astronauts go to the bathroom in space, but I suspect you meant 'cramped' or 'crammed'.

Keep up the good work!

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After all that time crapped in a small craft
I *really* hope you meant "cramped" in a small craft. :D

As someone who has only ever made one SSTO plane that actually TOed, I am bitterly jealous.

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@Brotoro and Vanamonde - thanks for pointing out the unfortunate typo, lol! fixed it.

more coming soon, but it's late and if I write anything now it will only be crapped full of typos!

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I've only just finished reading and I'm aching for more! I've been always fascinated by how people manage to build intricate aircraft designs that both look so awesome and are so capable. Mine ususally nosedive before I can reach the shore.

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Update:

After Jeb unveiled his plans for a super fast aircraft using a new, considerably more powerful jet engine, there was both enthusiasm and concern. The speeds he was talking about reaching while still in the atmo seemed unthinkable, some even stated that they thought he'd become "a little too ambitious". "These engines have never been tested" they argued. Jeb reminded them that it had been a unanimous decision to cut funding from the wind tunnel project and put the money towards refurbishing the staff complex and getting those lovely leather chairs and pool table (the only one of its kind on all of Kerbin). The only way to test an engine was to use it.

As these engines had not yet been tested he did agree that before he could use them to design a Mun capable craft he needed to test them with a simple flight to LKO and back. So the Sprinter was built, the first aircraft that didn't carry any science equipment and was designed purely as a joy ride into space.

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As he climbed into the cockpit he told the onlookers not to worry, "just go and watch an episode of FireFly and I'll be back before the credits roll". 2 minutes later he was already at a hight of 20km and travelling at over 1km per second, the previous speed records had been well and truly smashed. Never before had a craft experienced heat effects during its ascent.

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This plane had a very different ascent profile compared to all other craft which had reached LKO. Previous craft had to climb at a steady 45 degrees to punch their way out of the thicker atmo before switching to rocket engines to accelerate to orbital speeds. This had worked but required much more of the heavier rocket fuel to achieve orbit. With these new jets the Sprinter could level out at around 15km and then gain a much higher horizontal speeds and it's advanced intakes allowed it to carry on using its jet engines higher into the upper atmo. This approach required far less rocket fuel, by the time Jeb had to switch to the rocket engines he was already going at 1500ms at an alt of 25km.

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From take off it took less than 4 minutes for the Sprinter to raise its Ap to 100km and in just under 10 minutes Jeb was once again orbiting Kerbin with a smug grin stretched across his face. About 20 minutes later he once again fired the rocket engine up to begin his descent

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43 minutes after take off his wheels met the tarmac and he rolled gracefully to a stop, the Sprinter and its new jet engines had performed perfectly.

Fuelled by excitement about the possibilities these new engines offered he immediately began work on a craft which would orbit Mun for the first time. A project that almost cost him his life.

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This new craft, the MunOrbiter, was based on the succsesful design of the Sprinter, but with additional rocket fuel and two LV909 engines as well as the original T30. The 909's although weaker where more efficient and would be used to make the transfer and orbital capture burns, the T30 would just be used during the ascent.

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Everything worked according to plan and once again Jeb found himself approaching the Mun, but unlike his previous missions which gave him a fleeting glance, this time he was going to capture the orbit and get a look at the other side of Mun. The investigation that later followed would regard this as being the point at which problems began, although at the time it wasn't apparent that anything was wrong. Perhaps if he'd maintained a higher orbit then everything would have been ok, but he was determined to orbit under 40km to get closer EVA reports.

He completed several orbits, getting out periodically to take pictures of the different landscapes below him and started to assign names to them. One site in particular caught his attention, a wide and otherwise unremarkable crater located on the east side near the equator. It seemed flatter than the others and although he couldn't be certain Jeb was sure that at it's northern most point he could see something which glinted in the light. A strange rock formation? A structure?! He noted it as anomaly 1 and vowed to return to investigate it further.

On his final orbit he was treated to a stunning solar eclipse. To a kerbal a solar eclipse is nothing special, they see them about once a month on Kerbin, but this was the first time anyone had seen the Sun being eclipsed by Kerbin.

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Finally it was time to depart and he fired up the 909's to begin the transfer home. He was so full of wonder from what he'd seen that his attention was not on his instruments. His thoughts where suddenly interrupted by the deafening silence of his engines cutting out. He was out of fuel!! He'd made escape velocity from Mun, but was still a couple 100km out from being able to return home. What was he to do? Was this his fate, to drift forever?

He thought about his options for a short while. There was no hope of a rescue mission, all the space faring craft where single seaters and they hadn't as yet designed any craft that could fly unmanned. And even if he was rescued all the science that he'd just gained would be lost. In the end he resolved to go EVA and see what he could do. With just his little jet pack he started to push against the rear of his stricken craft, desperately attempting to nudge it's orbit closer to Kerbin. It was slow progress and time wasn't on his side. Each passing second took him further from the optimal burn point meaning he'd have to exert more and more force. Without any display of heading in his space suit he had to alternate between pushing the craft and climbing back on board to check his position and restock the suits oxygen supplies.

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After what seemed like an eternity he managed to lower the Pe so it just clipped the upper atmo of Kerbin but he was still a long way from being safely home. With the Pe at 68km the aerobraking effects would not be enough to de-orbit him. He'd have to make several passes though Kerbins atmo and he realised that if it took more than 3 orbits he stood a high chance of re-encountering Mun and being pulled uncontrollably to her surface.

As he hovered in space, his goal seem infuriatingly close but at the same time impossibly far away. He had to find another way.

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His new plan was to separate his cockpit from the craft and use the ejector seat engines to power him away. He first had to do some re-wiring so the thrusters didn't fire as the cockpit disconnected and then he needed to fire just 1 or 2 of them at the right moment. Being dedicated to the scientific cause he first transmitted the data from the experiments attached to the main craft and then pulled the release lever and broke free.

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Now came the tricky part. He had to use the single thruster which normally would push the cockpit up during an emergency eject and this was angled at 90 degrees from the cockpits orientation. He turned the cockpit and fired the thruster, blasting him away and rapidly lowering his Pe.

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It was more force than he expected and the Pe was buried below Kerbins surface. Jeb knew that this has simply exchanged his fate from drifting forever to being incinerated by a overly steep re-entry. He had to correct this and so once again he found himself pushing against his pod, trying to carefully adjust its course.

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At least this was many times easier than trying to push an entire plane about and he quickly found that it was all too easy to over do it. By carefully nudging the pod this way and that, pausing between pushes to check his position, he finally managed to hit the required Pe of 31km for a safe re-entry that would first skip off the atmo before descending to land. Finally he was on his way home.

Re-entry went according to plan and he skipped off the upper atmo for a few seconds, shedding his speed before plummeting back down.

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His chutes deployed and he came to rest a short distance from the coast. He wasn't sure what continent he'd landed on and he didn't care, he was home.

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Several days later the ground crew tracking the main wing section reported that it was now on a collision course with Mun. It had orbited Kerbin 5 times but just clipping the upper atmo had left it's orbit largely unchanged. They all watched as it approached, screaming towards the surface at over 800ms.

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It hit the surface so fast that not a trace of it was left. Infact everyone was rather disappointed at how unspectacular the impact was.

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The events of this mission resulted in a change in policy. It was already standard for all craft to be fitted with ejecting cockpits, a feature which Jeb now owned his life to. In addition it was now ruled that these ejecting cockpits must also be fitted with a small RCS tank and thrusters so that no Kerbal would ever find themselves having to push a pod around in space to make it home.

After this adventure Jeb decided to have a break from space travel and build a craft that would be able to reach some of the more inaccessible area's of Kerbin like the tops of the mountains.

Shortly later, the first ever VTOL was rolled out of the SPH.

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It was largely successful although there where a couple of incidents during testing, proving once again the importance of ejector seats.

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Glad you pointed me toward reading this thread! Enjoyable storytelling along with seeing yet another way to dodge the Tech Tree's unfriendly nature to planes. I'd installed some mods which took care of the problem (Half-blimp, half rocketplane) and allowed exploration, but this is a surprisingly elegant way to turn the game on its head and kick the tech tree in the shins.

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The events of this mission resulted in a change in policy... ruled that these ejecting cockpits must also be fitted with a small RCS tank and thrusters
Yeah, 'cause *that* was the problem, and not that the pilot was making up the mission as he went along. :D Edited by Vanamonde

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I really like this, when will we expect rockets, or Interplanetary planes?

I'm going to try to not build a single VAB rocket and just use SSTO aircraft, so it will be a very reusable space program. No one has set foot in the VAB and now there are fears that very large karachnids have taken up residence in there and also the launch pad is overrun with weeds. So they are going to have to stick to SPH built craft.

I forgot to put this in my last update, this is my current tech tree after Jebs almost ill fated orbit of Mun

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I really need more wings and those aerospike engines now so I can make a larger SSTO. The LV-N's are also high on my wish list!

I've not yet landed on any other body but I hope to change that with a mission to Minmus shortly and maybe also fling some probes at Mun in another mission. That should bring me enough sci to get the larger wings and the areospikes, I hope.....

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I've taken this up my self.

My current results.

A-01 15m skid, flip and asploded

A-02 1 second of flight, followed by above

A-03 a full 40 seconds of flight, and successfully landed (jettison the capsule)

B-01 got to 3400m (WOHO!) and the grasslands behind KSP

B-02 see A-02

B-03 see B-02

B-04 reached the ocean

C-01 Basic flight

C-02 ^^

C-03 ^^

C-04 attempt to reach highlands, see B-03

C-05 of C-11 see C-04

D-01 reached the highlands.

D-02 Reached 10km and upper atmosphere readings

D-03 Reached SPPPPAAAAAAAACCCCEEEEEEEEE

E-01 Basic jet test, so then C-04

E-02 First successful fully intact landing on skids.

F-01 test rocket/jet hybrid, reached 287Km

F-02 see F-01

F-03 orbit! TSTO with 18 units of fuel left in a 87x76x1.5'

F-04 attempt at a HKO orbit, partial success, a 45km by 300km orbit (didn't fully raise periapisis due to lack of fuel)

I completely admire you from being able to get to the mun!

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I've taken this up my self.

My current results.

A-01 15m skid, flip and asploded

A-02 1 second of flight, followed by above

A-03 a full 40 seconds of flight, and successfully landed (jettison the capsule)

B-01 got to 3400m (WOHO!) and the grasslands behind KSP

B-02 see A-02

B-03 see B-02

B-04 reached the ocean

C-01 Basic flight

C-02 ^^

C-03 ^^

C-04 attempt to reach highlands, see B-03

C-05 of C-11 see C-04

D-01 reached the highlands.

D-02 Reached 10km and upper atmosphere readings

D-03 Reached SPPPPAAAAAAAACCCCEEEEEEEEE

E-01 Basic jet test, so then C-04

E-02 First successful fully intact landing on skids.

F-01 test rocket/jet hybrid, reached 287Km

F-02 see F-01

F-03 orbit! TSTO with 18 units of fuel left in a 87x76x1.5'

F-04 attempt at a HKO orbit, partial success, a 45km by 300km orbit (didn't fully raise periapisis due to lack of fuel)

I completely admire you from being able to get to the mun!

oh, nice! I think you got into space quicker than me! I spent quite a bit of time trying to reach the different biomes around Kerbin before I got to space. What's a TSTO?

I've got the knack of SSTO's that can reach LKO, but getting them to go any further is much more tricky, especially with the limitied parts. I do have another couple missions to report, just haven't had the time to sit down and write them up. Will do soon!

edit- sorry for the delay in replying. life == hectic currently. Trying to move house and work is being a pain!

What Next?

Something, soon! I promise! :)

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I jsut got an idea.. BRB doing science.

That sounds intriguing!

I would guess that a TSTO would be a Two Stage To Orbit.

oh, of course! doh!

UPDATE:

For quite sometime nothing appeared to be happing. An eerie silence had setted over the SPH, the sounds of engines being tested had stopped, the loud banging and occasional cursing which signified a craft was under construction was gone. Jeb was missing....

He'd last been seen a little over a week ago taking off in a modified VTOL and heading east. Ground control had lost contact as he was approaching an area of Kerbin that few dared to venture into, The Badlands. The very worst was feared.....

-a little over a week ago;

Through the haze of his half opened eyes he couldn't figure out why everything was grey, why his head hurt so much and why the alarm clock sounded so loud. This wasn't his room he thought as he fumbled around trying to find the alarm clock to turn it off. His hand found something with a button and he pushed it. "Ouch...,crap" he exclaimed as he landed head first onto something hard. Where the heck am I he said aloud but nothing answered. He wriggled around to try and get out of this uncomfortable position but there wasn't much room to move with all these control panels and lights blinking urgently at him. Then it hit him; he was upside down in an ejected cockpit! The memories of what had happened started oozing back.

Something had gone seriously awry during his approach to the Badlands. He'd deviated from his planned course, but he couldn't remember why.

He found the controls and thankfully the ejected cockpit still had enough inertial power left to make it roll the right way up and open the hatch. As he climbed out he found himself in a very odd looking, very grey landscape. That was why he'd changed course, he'd spotted an odd looking region in the mountains that bordered the badlands and had gone in for a closer look.

It was a mountain, but unlike all the other mountains this one looked like its peak had been smashed in and was more like a raised crater. If I was a super villain thought Jeb, this is where my headquarters would be.

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That's when he remembered the events that had brought his craft down. Everything had been functioning within normal parameters until he approached this strange mountain. Then suddenly it was like someone had fired a lag-ray at his plane. The controls become extremely sluggish and he had to fight to keep it steady as he attempted to make an emergency landing. With everything taking longer to respond the control of the air-breathing engines became impossible to manage and he dropped out of the sky much too fast. At the last moment he pulled the eject lever and everything went black.

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He had to get out of here. Something did not feel right and this wasn't just because a nearly bolder was floating several inches above the ground in blatant defiance of sensible physics.

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Thankfully all cockpits are fitted with a site to site transporter which can return any cockpit or command pod back to KSC from anywhere on Kerbin. He climbed back in and reached for the green button at the top of his controls. Seconds later he was back at KSC and being plied with questions about what had happened. It was agreed that this mountain should be renamed Mt. Villain and would need to be further investigated using an unmanned (and possibly armed) drone that would be so small it would be immune to lag effects. Such a craft has yet to be built.

Realising that Kerbin could be as dangerous a place as anywhere in space Jeb refocused on his primary goal of space travel. He'd managed to orbit Mun but the previous craft had nearly left him stranded there. A better, more reliable design was needed.

Rather than adding more fuel and bigger engines than the previous design, Jeb shocked the entire scientific community when he announced that this next craft was going to carry less fuel (by several tons) and would not have a powerful T30 engine. The previous craft had a single T30 and two 909's, this version would have 4 909's and no T30 but would have the same number of jet engines. This lighter, more efficient design was named "MunOrbiter" as Jeb was certain that it would work.

A few days later the MunOrbiter departed for Mun and reached LKO with enough fuel remaining to have a green light for Mun transfer.

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The transfer went as planned and once more Jeb was in LMO. There was not so much science to be done this time, but he did pass over a few areas that had been missed by the previous mission.

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After completing several orbits he was ready to make the trip home. This time he had plenty of spare fuel (118Liq and 151Oxi after completing the burn) and the return went without incident. The only point Jeb felt could have been done better was the judgement of the aerobraking. He'd hoped to aerobrake into LKO and then wait until he could descend to land at KSC but he hit the atmo a bit too low and came into land in one of Kerbins many grasslands. He landed near a large lake, and Jeb being Jeb just let his craft keep rolling along the ground till he reached it, he never passes up the chance to get a picturesque shot of his return.

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The first really successful orbit and return (with the entire craft) from another body in the solar system was a milestone that had been dreamt about by the Kerbals for a long time. To commemorate this momentous event a flag was designed and presented to the aerial pioneers, A flag that would soon mark the surface of another celestial body;

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The Mun orbiter had returned intack and with a considerable about of fuel remaining. Enough that Jeb decided that he would take the same craft up again and this time attempt a landing on Minmus. He believed the lower gravity of that moon would allow for a landing although he wasn't entirely sure if an intact return was possible. But if all else failed the new policy of having thrusters on cockpits gave him confidence that he'd be able to at least return in the ejected cockpit.

So once again he set off in the MunOrbiter (he didn't even wait to re-spray a different name on it). The transfer was slightly trickier as Mun insisted in getting in the way. But a couple corrections along the way and he was on track. After 4 days of travelling (and wishing he'd brought more films to watch) he entered Minmus's SOI and prepared to enter a highly elliptical orbit.

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From there he got his first clear view of this distant moon and felt strangely hungry.

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Having no terrain map he had to find the best landing site he could be eye and opted to touch down on a ridge over looking what was possibly a lake or glacier.

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The landing process was something that he had avoided talking about to his peers back home, it was not something he was entirely sure about himself. This craft was designed to glide to a landing on its wheels, but clearly that was not going to work here. He needed to descend engine first but at the same time he couldn't risk putting the weight of the craft onto its engines. He have to cut power and rotate the craft at the last minute and hope that free falling the last few meters wouldn't be something he regretted.

To his relief the landing process worked, although it was a little bumpy and the craft bounced a couple times before coming to rest.

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He was less than 100m from the edge of the ridge and taxied his craft towards it

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One (other) thing he'd not anticipated was how ineffective his brakes would be on this low gravity land. It was a close call and he had to fire his cockpits forward thrusters to prevent him from overshooting and sliding down the precipice.

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Relived and overjoyed he contacted mission control to inform them, he, Jebediah Kerman was the first kerbal on the surface of one of their moons! He could still hear the cheers on the radio as he exited his craft and floated, like a leaf on absolutely no wind at all, down to the surface.

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Of course the first matter of great importance was to plant the flag and gaze at this intriguing landscape.

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There was also the matter of grabbing a pocket-full of soil (if that was what it was) to be returned home for analysis.

After completing the required scientific experiments (which was after all what was funding this venture) he prepared for take off and the return home. He'd been advised to use the craft's gyroscopes to angle it at about 15 degrees before igniting the engines, but he decided it would be much more fun to simply roll off the edge of the cliff and then fire the engines up.

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He dropped for a few meters first but it didn't take long for the engines to overpower the weak gravity of this little (kinda tasty looking) moon. In seconds he'd raised his Ap to 20km and began his calculations for the home transfer.

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His fuel was at a concerning level and it didn't give him much room for error or refining his landing site at kerbin. After the burn he had just 2l of oxidizer and 18l of liquid fuel left. He was going to land wherever fate and physics would put him.

As he entered the atmo in a blaze of glory he was relived to see that he was coming in over land, this craft was not designed for water landings.

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He was however a bit concerned by the jagged mountain range that was rushing towards him and in the dark it wasn't easy to pick out a good landing site. With 18l of jet fuel he turned towards what looked like a flat clearing between the mountains and started his landing approach.

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As he got low enough for his lights to pick out the terrain he realised this place was not as flat as he'd hoped. He didn't have the fuel to find a better spot, he had to land. After gliding for a short while he found an area that was fairly flat, although it sloped up hill, and brought his craft down to land. A few bumps and bounces later he came to a complete stop, his mission was over and once more he was safely home. The first ever Kerbal to walk on a moon was home.

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With the 613 science points this mission yielded it was now possible to research some more advanced wings. His new goal was to build a much larger craft that would be capable of taking a small lander to Mun, it was finally time to conquer the surface of Mun.

tbc.....

Sorry for the delay in this instalment. I'm moving house and have had a load to sort out over this last week. I'm also going to be without internet for a while till I get a new line installed but I hope I can persuade one of my new neighbours to let me use their wifi till I get my new line up. So hopefully I will continue this before too long! Kat

Edited by katateochi
speelong mistacks

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It was agreed that this mountain should be remained Mt. Villain and would need to be further investigated using an unmanned (and possibly armed) drone that would be so small it would be immune to lag effects.

This made my morning!

-Will

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I'm amazed at how successful this adventure has been. I'll definatly be keeping tabs on this one, and maybe trying some space plane craft of my own. Just out of curiosity, how long have you been playing?

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Katateochi has no net access while he's relocating to a new house, so it may be a while before he checks in.

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This is just awesome! Thanks for the story, am really enjoying it!

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Thanks for all your comments guys! Glad you're enjoying it :)

Sorry its been a bit slow recently, house move etc. More coming soon (if I can get this goram Mun SSTO working!)

I'm amazed at how successful this adventure has been. I'll definatly be keeping tabs on this one, and maybe trying some space plane craft of my own. Just out of curiosity, how long have you been playing?

How long, do you mean this save or since I started playing KSP. This career save has taken quite a while, I've been doing it for at least a couple months now, but RL is slowing me down a lot atm. I've been playing KSP for over a year now, started in version 0.15 or 0.16.

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Just over a year, wow. I've made a few attempts at space planes since I started reading this, they were all dismal failures. I think to start getting the hang of them in going to copy a few of your designs to get a basic idea, I may even start a new career and play through this way. Once I get through my current career though. I think one or two planetary landings out side of Kerbin will get me the rest of the tech tree.

It's there a good guide out there that explains the difference in piloting a space plane? I can fight the design out, but the flying seems really different.

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