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EndOfTheEarth

Have you ever felt a strong personal connection to one of your ships?

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I was looking back through a number of old books and TV shows about the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs and kept noticing how engineers and pilots got a close sense of connection to their ships, to the point of giving them personalities (apparently Shuttle Discovery was fond of messing with pad engineers, while Atlantis was more polite) or thinking back to where the components of them were now.

Have any of you connected to any spacecraft you built on a personal level? If so, I'd like to hear your stories.

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I never have time to form connections. Not even with Kerbals....

Why is the ground so cruel?

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Final Frontier and Texture Replacer have gone a long way to making me care about Kerbals.

Edited by klgraham1013

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I once attempted to make an aircraft that had it all; cargo bay, decent range, SSTO capability, RCS, great handling, stability and speed, Kethane mining equipment, storage, scanner AND refinery, excessive amounts of electricity and even Lazor systems that were capable of suspending the craft above ground (effectively making it VTOL capable). It was my favorite thing I had ever built, and I would often fly it around Kerbin just for funsies. The thing is, it did none of the above things very well. The cargo bay was small, it fell short of making it half way around the planet without Kethane refueling, it was pretty hard to get into orbit although it was also my first attempt at an SSTO so looking back now it was more my piloting that made it difficult than the craft itself but it only barely had enough oxidizer to JUST make it to orbit anyway. The extensive Kethane capabilities were for if I needed to refuel a stranded vessel but with such a poor range itself and I think only like 2000 units of Kethane storage, it wasn't very good at that either. Then the Lazor hovering ability was really just a lagfest from sheer part count.

Ever since then I have found that it's much more useful to build specialty craft. As cool as it is to have a single ship that can supposedly do "everything", unless it's good at everything, you're better off using something designed with one or two tasks in mind because it will be much better at it. For this reason I never really bothered to bring the craft forward from old saves, but I do believe I have a screenshot of it somewhere that I may try to rebuild it from. Maybe without as much overengineering, though.

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I actually do have one. It was the first station I ever built in 0.18 it was ugly, messy, ridiculously overcomplicated and had way too many parts. Although i threw it into the atmosphere after building a new, better, Y-shaped one I never forgot about my very first station.

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My first successfully Mun lander, a crazy craft oooover engineered (a sort of 10k dV) made in 0.18 without mechjeb or nothing.

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yeah I had one ship I got quite attached too. It was the ship I did my grand tour in called Shuukou (means circle tour by ship in Japanese). The grand tour was very long mission and there where some close calls, but the ship performed really well. This is whole craft, transfer stage and lander (which slides inside the transfer stage to dock).

VJ5xOdbl.jpg

I liked that ship so much and completing the GT was such a mission that once it was done I used a crane and hosted the lander onto a moving platform and moved it to a place of honor (just 2.2km outside KSC);

jKbLVNVl.jpg

(this was in KSP 0.17 or 0.18)

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Anything I build that's designed to go further than LKO ends up becoming part of me. Mostly this applies to my giant transit vehicle/lander combos capable of going practically anywhere (although my relationship with landers themselves is bittersweet), but a lot went into designing this SSTO shuttley plane thing I've been messing around with lately too:

NRPGDxM.jpg

Often, if I give a ship a name, it sticks around for a while and is pretty important to me.

Notable examples:

-GGSS Rising Spring - Antimatter torchship which accompanied GGLS Mjolnir for the first Thud landing, carried a lander to Laythe and Vall, and made several Minmus landings. Currently resides in orbit around Kerbin in my .25 install, freshly refueled and ready for more. More or less represents the pinnacle of engineering in that save.

-GGSS Rustless Fall - Antimatter torchship which flew my first and so far only lander to the Urania system in my .25 game, where it made a landing on Hestia. Currently still out there.

-GGSS Ashen Winter - Pushed a lander out to Eeloo in my .25 game. Still out there. Very reliable ship, with plenty of fuel for many missions to come.

-GGSS Ascension - Long-term-loiter vessel designed to stick around in the Jool system for a long period of time, living off of ISRU for most needs. Never left Kerbin orbit due to the arrival of .90, but may be rebuilt and flown soon.

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Well, it is easy to form a connection with your crafts when you spend hours or even days on designing them and get them to work right. And I think anyone who has construct their huge interplanetary craft in orbit could feel quite a bit of an attachment with the craft that they meticulously put together piece by piece, docking parts together and all that. It is kind of a huge emotional investment by that point.

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I find that, when you design the same sort of craft often enough, you start to get to like that design.

kas_mouse.jpg

Pretty much from 0.21 to 0.25, this was my go-to design for Kethane mining missions. The details may have changed slightly over time, but the basic design has not, and I still tried to engineer a similar setup for Karbonite when Kethane didn't get updated in a timely manner for 0.90.

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I'm basically in love with my current spaceplane, the AeroFoo II - been flying it with cargo variants for a month straight now... I think it's real love! ;)

I have some videos of it in my signature, if you'd like to see

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I had an interplanetary spaceship called Endurance (after Ernest Shackleton's ship) that took a crew of four to Duna (my first ever trip there). She didn't quite have enough fuel for the entire mission (the Discovery lander stripped plenty of ∆v), but I took her home. I was taking her to Eve for a contract, when bad stuff happened. I went to Gilly, and the game kept on cashing. I had changed nothing, and it was only there near Gilly where it crashed. In the end, I just had to give up on her. I have never bothered to build her again, yet I have always planned for an Endurance II, bigger and better.

uG0t1YR.png

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This is the only ship I have connection for

BXnfUKI.png

It was an SSTO I made which the SP+ update broke. I then rebuilt it from the ground up as an SSTO. Later I changed it again to a atmosphere only science plane with rover that can get in and out of the cargo bay. The old and broken version of it is in my signature. Its called the White Star II (can anyone name the science fiction series reference) and its my favorite ship.

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gmUQjFl.png

This one, is my favourite. First flew in 0.25, later fueled it up and used it to circumnavigat Kerbin twice (sent it once on a botched attempt in 0.25). Currently on display outside KSC. It's name is the Spirit of Kerbin.

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My first career in .25 I killed Jeb during a ballistic reentry from a munar orbit.

When I set out to land on Duna the crew boarded KSS Jebediah's Will. The ship looked pretty good and performed. Wish I had a pic.

I have a strong affinity towards my growing Minmus orbital station called Kesh in my current save.

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My first ever SSTO.

It was a beautiful moment, but I lost the save file when my computer crashed.

It was later modified to bring two kerbals along as tourists, which it did quite well.

RIP SS Eagle

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I wouldn't say personally attached, but it is a design I'm proud of until I design a better craft to retire the old one.

screenshot7.png

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There are a few ships that I have a strong atachment to due to the number of times I've flown those designs.

Science expeditions to Duna were very ably accomlished with this little lander. I like it because it is so optimised for the Duna mission and can accomplish a lot for its small size, which also makes it very easy to send out there in one launch.

EpmAl0R.jpg

The second is a more capable design for missions later in the the careeer, I've taken it all over the Kerbol system and has proved a very good ship to fly. The orange tank is routinely dumped mid mission, but the rest always comes back, so it feels like a veteran vehicle after you take it to the edge of the system a few times. It can land and take off from anywhere except Eve, Kerbin, Laythe and Tylo.

1g3KiLA.png

The third is my only SSTO to date and serves as my surface to space station shuttle. I really like the sense of routine flights that this one brings to my gameplay: These vehicles get refueled and re-crewed without needing to recover the vessel, so I get a very strong attachment to them. This one is 'Challenger'.

99PBhEH.png

Oh there's also my long endurance Kerbin plane - little slow but great for taking in the sights. Plus there are also a few launchers that I have a sentimental attachment for :)

Edited by DunaRocketeer

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This was my first Mun base... I just loved to hop around, and using the KAS containers in the M.U.L.E. I could carry experiments around. This was before science was introduced, though.

VDLumTi.png

There was also a crew shuttle I loved. Super easy to fly, lots of delta-V (LMO and back). It had great gliding capabilities, so it was very easy to hop around the atmosphere before coming down to KSC. Never had to ditch in the ocean.

jazsqn1.png

My first (manned) interplanetary mission was very nice to fly too. (It was an apollo-style Eve fly-by).

fdoatV4.png

I remember flying this mission. Watching Kerbin get smaller and smaller through the window, knowing I didn't have enough fuel for a direct boost-back. I had to nail that Eve fly-by.

I still remember coming back and finally undocking from the S-IVB hab. It ended up meeting its grave in the upper atmosphere, the only thing to come back was the capsule.

Oh, and of course there's this little guy:

DPf8opa.png

Couldn't turn without falling, couldn't accelerate very much, and it was quite useless... but I loved it, and apparently you guys did too. I wanted to re-design it in 0.90 but my scroll wheel isn't working, so it'll have to wait.

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My Interstellotron transfer stage has been with me since I first picked up the game in 0.23. Still a very simple, useful design. The lander probe on the front counts too - it's been everywhere but Ike, Vall and Dres.

K4PY7uK.png

And the Interstellotron landed on Gilly!

dLrjzn2.png

And a shot of take-off, just for fun:

5JdPkGx.png

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It would have to be my Cheddar-Class landers. I started building them shortly after Scott Manley's Reusable Space Program revealed to me just how incredibly good the LV-N was as a landing engine, and once I switched over to reusing landers instead of doing one-time landings, it became my go-to lander for Munlike worlds and lighter. The lander has about 2.5 km/s of delta-v, which gives a lot of freedom for landing on Minmus-like worlds, and reasonable freedom for Mun-class worlds.

Cheddar-Class.png

The class is named because using Radial attachment points to clip the red-hot bells of the LV-Ns into the cryogenic fuel tanks is a bit cheesy, and as a result, every Cheddar-class lander has been named after a cheese. The one on the left is probably the prototype STV Cheddar. Others have included the STVs Caravane, Bergkase, Herve, Limburger, Passendale, Brie, Gruyere, Muenster, Neufchatel, Roquefort, Port Salut, Tilsit, Feta, Casu Marzu, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Ricotta, Jarlsberg, Velveeta, Fileta, Emmental...

The primary difference between the 0.19 version and the 0.90 version is the use of the Clamp-o-Tron Sr Docking port on the top instead of a Clamp-o-Tron. This allows the lander to automatically draw fuel from a Rockomax-Jumbo based Cantanker, which I typically launch with the lander. As a result, I've sent Cheddar-class landers to Gilly, The Mun, Minmus, Ike, Dres, Pol, Bop, and Eeloo. The 0.90 verions also has an RC-001S 1m probe brain instead of the Probodobodyne OKTO-2, and has modulemanaged 20 units of KAS Storage into the Landercan and 40 in the Hitchhiker.

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No personal connections. Any time a new release came out, I wiped all saves and started anew. No matter what craft I make, I am always trying to make it better. So there is no connection. None of them are 'perfect.' Perhaps when I make a perfect ship, I will have a connection - but I doubt it.

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