Modded 64k Career game UPDATE Year2 Day36 (09/05/2017)

Recommended Posts

Y2 D15, KSC



Launch of the first hardware directly connected to the Duna Mission.

Cerbarus Ib is a (slightly) modified version of the ISRU lander which will be used on the Dunan surface. Slightly modified by strapping a pair of hypergolic motors and tanks on each side so that it can self-land on low gravity, non-atmospheric worlds as opposed to the heatshield/parachutes of the (as yet un-built) original.


Lifting directly into a 6 degree north Minmus aligned orbit, requires a pre-dawn launch for HDIII.


Minor technical difficulties on the launchpad result in the intended 200km orbit being unattainable, somebody left the fuelling tap activated on the launch clamps resulting in Cerbarus' MethaLox tanks being filled with fuel we could not burn off. This was not noticed until Cerbarus was struggling to circularise at 193km. 70% of Cerbarus' "landing" fuel ended up being consumed simply completing to a safe orbit.


With the hardware in a safe orbit, we can subtly approach the Medea III design crew about adding 400 litres of UDMH+NTO to the payload so Cerbarus can actually land once we get to Minmus. With the MethaLox tanks full, Medea can trim its own supply back.

Cerbarus is designed as a combination mining/refining post as well as providing accomodation for 4 Kerbals. The single central drill feeds a converer directly attached which in turn feeds the 6 radial MethaLox tanks.

This flight is unintentionally a new record for the HDIII with this 12,500kg payload, not bad for a 10,000kg rated lifter!! (Arguably with engine updates the rated capacity could be pushed closer to 11t)

Mission cost, 131,023 Funds, 0 Recovery.


Also today, Mun Orbit

Loki II arrives in Mun SOI, 81m/sec inclination change to 21 degrees so as to overfly landing zone after capture.

Y2 D16, Mun Orbit




Loki II capture burn at Mun Pe, upside down because circular inline probecores have no defined up until after you launch them .. and its always the wrong way around!!

A little over 700m/sec to capture to a circular 30km orbit, and then another 80m/sec inclination change to compensate for the landing zone moving (or Mun rotating :blush:) 1,100dV remain in transfer stage.

Loki II follows a very similar EDL process to Loki I, 30km up and 150km short of the desired landing point the Coxwain motor begins burning through all of its remaining fuel, due to low thrust of touchdown stage an in-efficient profile of minimising vertical velocity is utilised. 110-120km is covered by the time it runs dry and is jettissoned ... hopefully to not land on anything important. Now around 20km up, 30km from target and travelling at some 3-400m/sec the touchdown stage rotates through 90 degrees, re-aligns its control interface to a 'top down' probe core and lights up the 4 hypergolic motors.


With identical tanks at either end of the craft and balancing taken to a pedantic level (50kg of lead ballast in the nose), Loki II is actually pretty easy to fly, it also has an excess of dV allowing a landing site to be chosen only 8km from the Loki I lander and nicely positioned just back from the rim of the crater.


Loki II's actual touchdown point is infact within 500m of the first point of interest for the surface exploration contract, unfortunately the 5 locations all require Kerbal observations. This is the purpose of Loki II it will provide surface mobility for the Kerbals who will explore these locations.

Pumping the remaining fuel from the 'tail' tank into the nose Loki prepares to unload its rover, the (empty) rear end cap is jettissoned with the help of a pair of sepatrons.


With the CoM now as far forward as possible the rover can be unloaded without overturning the lander.



Loki II is far more capable than Loki I in terms of mobility (its faster and has greater traction) however it doesnt carry the full science suite of its (fully) robotic predecessor.

Loki II is capable of autonamous operation, but it does have a pair of command chairs (one is stored underneath and will require KAS relocation to the upper surface, however it does not impede ground clearance). Packing a pair of 0.625m inline batteries it can run for extended periods without sunlight, it also carries 12 days of lifesupport allowing extended journeys for live crew away from landers.


Loki, after testing its systems is parked near its lander to await a crew.

The systems test however showed up some serious issues.

Robotic parts are amazing, however they do have trouble when you dont want them to move, Loki has experiance a significant amount of 'drift' in its components to the point where it cannot put all 4 wheels on the ground even while stationary (you can probably see the angle between the front and rear wheels in the last image) the entire rover is twisted and is a nightmare to drive. When I simulated this mission during its design I did not encounter this, perhaps it is to do with craft switching? I have no idea. I may have to perform some config-file-foo to swap this deformed rover for a new VAB spawned one, I really dislike cheating in this way, but this is a game/mod issue rather than one of my own causing.


Y2 D16, KSC



With Loki II now on the surface the Pandora Mun Station crew are itching to perfom their last Mun Landing, Decender III has the performance to carry them through the inclination change and land, but not in both directions. This is where the surface depot carried aboard Loki I was to be of use to refuel Decender and allow it to return to PMS.

Launch number 127 from the KSC is a HDIV carrying the Hector IV Mun resupply depot. A direct replacement for the lost depot, it also includes a small independent tanker to deliver 600 litres of Methane to PMS for the Medea II tug.

The rushed nature of the mission has caused it to gazump the intended launch of Medea IIIb (transfer stage for Cerbarus and orbital tanker for Charon) Hector is thus launched ASAP so that the extended launchpad reconditioning caused by the heavy HDIV launch can be begun.


The small size of Hector allows this smaller fairing to be used resulting in a more streamlined look for HDIV than usual.

Circularising into a 153km orbit, the upper stage is hardly touched and is able to perform the entire 2,270 transfer burn to Mun as well.


Despite the simple nature of the craft, this is not a cheap mission simply because of its mass, the HDIV lifter accounts for the vast majority of this missions pricetag, adding this to the 2nd HDIV used for Loki II, it is looking like this endevour may not result in profit.

Mission cost 228,381 Funds, 2x18,597 recovered from boosters.


Duna Mission Progress

The optimal 5,000dV window passed today, from now on the transfers get shorter in duration and more expencive in dV, 96 days until the 10,000dV cutoff date.

Operational components;

Cerbarus Ib, Minmus fuel ISRU currently in LKO

Financed components under construction

Cerbarus Ic, identical sister to Ib under construction
Medea IIIb, Heavy varient MethaLox tanker for Minmus operations and Duna operations, awaiting launch
Medea IIIa, lander varient, under construction

Design finalised components awaiting funding

Decender IV, Minmus support craft, Duna/Ike crewed lander, ~260,000 Funds
Charon Drive Unit, big pile of fuel tanks and NTRs, ~750,000 Funds
Charon Crew modules x3, Charons payload, the bit what keeps the Kerbals alive and busy, ~480,000 Funds

Components in design

Duna surface equipment, habitation, science, mobility etc, 100,000 Funds (or 300,000 if independent transfer to Duna).
Duna landing system for above equipment, 100,000-300,000.

Misc other costs

Crew delivery to Charon, 80,000 (double if they need to be recovered from orbit first)
120 Funds, slap up meal at Mrs Miggins pie shop for crew before departure.
10,000 Funds, lifetime councilling for Mortimer after siging the cheques for this mission.

Edited by Shania_L

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Y2 D17, Low Kerbin Orbit, Pandora Station



With the full 'creature comforts' schedule of experiments complete, the capsule is refilled and the final reports are sealed for return to the surface.


Somehow the capsule has managed to gain quite a considerable mass during experimentation, it now weighs in at some 3,900kg, reducing its available fuel budget for return to only 180m/sec. 160m/sec is used to drop to a 500x40km orbit and enter the atmosphere aiming for the KSC.


Ditching the propulsion module before re-entry the heatshield protects the payload until the dual parachutes can open safely landing some 820km short of KSC.

100 Science collected for Creature Comforts in LKO (60% converted to Funds)
2,848 Funds recovered from hardware (552 Funds from cashed in Science)

Contract Complete, Creature Comforts in LKO, 621,541 Funds, 30 Science, 12 Reputation.

This cash injection allows us to finally put the Charon drive unit into production, Drive unit and HoundDog V launcher are to be assembled on seperate lines and combined later. 21 Days assembly on the drive unit, 8D on HDV.

Helmdar V-k probably completed its Hi-Res scan of Kerbins surface a while ago, it has now been collected for 30 Science.


Y2 D19, KSC.



Hector IV enters Mun SOI and performs an 11m/sec correction burn.

Medea IIIb is the heavy tug which will not only carry Cerberus Ib to Minmus, but will take Cerberus Ia to Duna.

Attempting to find a launch window for Medea to intercept the already orbiting Cerberus is more difficult than anticiptaed. The 6 degree inclination results in the KSC only crossing Cerberus' track twice a rotation, trying to combine this with a Cerberus overflight means launch oppertunities are quite rare, or would require additional fuel to be burned to enforce an intercept.

Medea is launched directly into the 6 degree inclination track while Cerberus is on the far side of Kerbin, it will have to follow an elliptical path and wait a few orbits before intercepting.


For this launch, the HDIV upper stage is stripped back, its orbital control system is removed to gain minor fuel savings, Medea itself will have to complete to orbit and is only fuelled to the minimum requirements (far from its max capacity)


With no control system the upper stage is commanded to fire its retros immediately on decoupling Medea. Medea only has to burn some 150m/sec to complete to 195x98 km orbit. 30,448kg.

This brief burn sees the first use of a MethaLox engine, Medea carries a pair of AIES Vulcan-VR1 motors producing a total of 507KN thrust at a Vac Isp of 365. (Self modded to MethaLox from the KeroLox version in the AIES mod)

41m/sec correction burn to match orbits with Cerberus. maintaining our current 98x195 orbit will take over 5 days to meet up, or we could burn 340m/sec and do it in 2 orbits ..... we have 7,856m/sec in the tanks so why not?

Mission cost, 258,107 Funds, 17,982x2 recovered from boosters.


Y2, D19, Mun Orbit



Hector IV capture burn, just over 500 m/sec results in sizable ellipse. This compromise orbit will allow the probe to undock and intercept Pandora Mun Station at the next Pe, and a high enough Ap for the main lander to perform its inclination change cheaply enough that it has the fuel to actually land afterwards.


Probe decouples from Hector on climb out after capture burn. 1,096x30km. Both probe and HDIV transfer stage retain over 600m/sec.

Hector lander performs its 242m/sec inclination change and 192m/sec re-circularisation burn leaving barely enough in the tank to ensure a sub-orbital decoupling.


Y2 D20, Various locations.



Due to horribly suspect coincidences, three incredibly important 'one chance only' burns, for 3 different craft at 2 different planets are due to take place within a span of 6 minutes.

Y2D20 1:20:40 Medea IIIb will intercept Cerberus and needs to cancel relative prior to docking
Y2D20 1:24:19 Hector IV Probe will intercept Pandora Mun Station and needs to concel relative prior to docking.
Y2D20 1:26:16 Hector IV Lander is to perfrom its circularisation burn.

Rather unsurprisingly I didnt get many screenshots of this!!

Rather then attempting to intercept and dock both Medea and Hector Probes, I simply cancelled the velocity and let them drift within a km or so of their target then came back later when I had completed the three main burns.


Medea docked with Cerberus, note the jettissoned canister on the far left. This carried up replacement UDMH/NTO fuel for Cerberus' landing motors, now almost full it should have enough dV to set itself down on Minmus. With Medea now hooked up the rogue MethaLox from Cerberus' tanks can be pumped over resulting in a smidge over 4,200m/sec which is plenty to transfer and capture at Minmus.

No imagery of Hector IV probe docking to PMS, it was a brief visit. 600 litres Methane transferred to Medea II before it undocked and retro burned for a sub-orbital dive into Mun.

The incessent rotation of planets has once again resulted in the Loki landing sites being plunged into darkness, Hector however cannot afford to wait for daylight, or the additional plane change that would require so a landing in the dark is the only option.

The HDIV transfer stage initiates the decent in the last rays of daylight, sufficiently sub-orbital its retros were not required.


With 1,900m/sec allocated for its landing attempt Hector has both thrust and fuel to spare. The trio of MODEC motors provide ample TtW ratio to pick a landing site and drop vertically to within a few km of the Loki landers. Darkness, and the lack of powerful flood lighting, results in a very cautious and in-efficient decent. Almost too cautious, firm ground contact is made with 40m/sec remaining in the tank.


With the fuel depot in place however, Hector can now supply 1,800 Litres Kerosene and 2,500 Litres LOx which will enable Decender III to perform plane changes on both ascent and decent ... once the sun rises.

And finally.

Medea IIIb / Cerberus Ib perform the 2,441 m/sec transfer burn to Minmus. 60m/sec cheaper than my usual 2,500 burns, but still not the most efficient. It does extend the travel time to 13 days but should result in a much cheaper capture burn at the other end.


The combined craft mass is some 36,367kg, however less than 3 mins later the burn is complete and it only weighs 18,393kg

This payload is deliberately taking a slower transfer to allow the next craft chance to catch up, Medea IIIa and the crewed lander Decender IV are both required to perform any drilling operations ... both are still under construction.



Edited by Shania_L

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Shania_L said:

Drive unit and HoundDog V launcher are to be assembled on seperate lines and combined later.

Is there a specific KCT feature that makes this happen? I'd use multiple build lines a lot more if I understood it properly.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, CSE said:

Is there a specific KCT feature that makes this happen? I'd use multiple build lines a lot more if I understood it properly.

It is not an actual 'feature' in my old version of KCT, I do know the current version has a few features I do not. The way I use it is by taking  advantage of the build time reduction associated with recovered parts. Parts recovered after a flight are considered the same as parts on scrapped vessels.

The way it works is that you build the launcher on one line, your payload on another and let them both complete. Then as KCT bases its build time on a combination of value/mass you scrap the cheaper one and all of its components go into the recovery bin, you then modify the other so that it is a complete object. As all of the modified parts are then drawn straight from the recovery bin their build times are considerably shorter.

If like me you use a standard launcher design, you are already benefiting from the time bonus for regularly used parts, by recovering the lower stages/boosters you also add them to the recovery bin and your next vessel using them builds faster.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

at the moment, until a rewrite is finished, KCT for KSP1.2.x dos not have inventory reuse or counts the number of times a part was build

Edited by danielboro

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ok, I am back after a longer than expected winter break, although I haven't been able to get time to post I have had some time here and there to get some more progress done.

Y2 D22, KSC



On a crisp clean morning a HoundDog III lifts off from the KSC carrying the second Medea III tug.


With its upper stage stripped of all command and control systems to save as much mass as possible the retro system is triggered as soon as the stage runs dry whilst still suborbital.


Medea IIIa completes to a Minmus inclined 6 degrees 153x149km orbit on its own minimal fuel stocks. (Infact only the engine mounts are fuelled, the main tanks are completely dry) However without a heavy payload it can still propel its own 11,800kg for some 3,950m/msec dV.

After a minor inclination correction Medea burns for a Minmus transfer, the massively overpowered triple MethaLox engines putout 2,460m/sec in only 35 seconds, Minmus intercept in 12 D.


Medea IIIa is possibly the most Jules Verne craft I have ever built in 6.4k, just add a few aerodynamic fins and a capsule on the nose and you have the traditional tailsitting rocketship, this will provide bulk lift capacity from Minmus as well as SSTO on Duna.

Mission Cost 134,635 Funds, no recovery from HDIII launches.


Also on Y2 D22, Mun



With the previous landing of the Loki II rover encountering some phantom twisting and resulting in it being incredibly difficult to control I resolved to perform a little surgical persistance file transplant. Overwriting the 'real' Loki on the Mun with a newly launched Loki back on kerbin only required editing of the launch ID and mission log and I have a non twisted rover in place.
Although somehow it does appear to have lost one of its headlights for no apparent reason.
I wouldn't do this kind of edit for any damage caused by my flying or driving skills, but this has somehow been caused by wandering of connections on robotic parts during load/unload.

Loki II is remotely commanded to drive the 3,5km from its lander to the Hector IV fuel bowser where the crewed shp will land once the sun comes up. On this trip Loki managed 15m/sec with only minimal rover shenanigans.



Y2 D24, KSC



Another HD III launch, this time a duplicate to the Cerbarus I Minmus mining lander, Cerbarus Ic.

With an improved ascent trajectory and aiming for a lower 165km altitude Ic manages to circularise and correct its Minmus inclination on the HDIII upper stage. However as there is no additional Medea IIIs headed out to Minmus, Cerbarus will wait in orbit for the return of Medea II from Mun.


Mission cost 129,521 Funds, no recovery from HDIII launches.


Also Y2 D24, Pandora Mun Station



Plant Science experiment which has been performed over the last week (or so) has been completed. All equipment and results are packed into the capsule for direct return to Kerbin.


With the additional mass gained (from all the heavy ideas?) the 700m/sec direct to aerocapture burn takes the 3KN arcjet over 4 minutes @ 0.3G. A little over 600m/sec remains for final altitude targetting and/or breaking burn prior to entry.


Y2 D25, KSC



One final launch for this episode, this time a HDIV carrying Decender IV and an empty Methane tank for use in the Minmus mining project.


Decender IV is a multipurpose vehicle packing around 5,000m/sec it will be used not only for Minmus mining operations, but for Duna landing/ascent as well as being capable of performing the Duna Orbit - Ike Landing - Duna Orbit round trip.

For this trip it is also ferrying an empty Mehane tank which will be transferred to Medea IIIa once at Minmus. Decender IV is also a crewed launch, veteren Pilot Sigbert Kerman and rookie Engineer Aldmore team up to run the Minmus Project.


Launching to a Minmus inclined 6 degrees at 155km all systems are checked, payload secured and the go ahead is given for Minmus transfer.

The HDIV upper stage performed the first 1,700m/sec of its fast track 2,500m/sec Minmus transfer burn, which should see it arrive at or even before Medea IIIa which was launched yesterday.

Decender IV is carrying a number of KAS containers containing all of the ground equipment required to link the seperate mining craft with the Medea tankers, it also carries 23 days of supplies for each of the 2 man crew. Additional supplies are stored in the Cerbarus landers, 80 days each. Once Charon arrives at Minmus it should be able to provide any additional lifesupport requirements.

Mission cost 256,515 Funds, 2x 18,598 recovered from boosters.


Duna Mission Progress

Production of the Drive unit and booster should be ready for launch within 15D
Once the funds have cleared from the (assumed) successful recovery of the Mun Plant Science experiment, production can begin on the habitation modules.
Cerbarus Ib arrives at Minmus on Day 33, Helmdar orbital scanning has already highlighted rich sources of Karbonite.
Due to hyperbolic and not very stable orbit predictions, Medea IIIa and DecenderIV will arrive at Minmus the day after (approx).

With 11 out of the 12 Kerbanauts KSC has access to currently in space (only Elory is on Kerbin) we will probably have to recover the crew of Pandora Mun to Kerbin to crew Charon, they also need to return their Mun surface science anyway after the Loki II landing.

Edited by Shania_L

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

So, um... been over a month now... moar?

I know, work has been manic since new years, late shifts and weekends ... I have been able to find time here and there to get on and play and I have got some progress. Mainly with mission design which lends itself better to shorter sessions, although I have been finding this also suits rover driving.

This is not dead, it may be a slightly short epoisode but I will try to get something out this week.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries. We'll still be here when you have the time again. :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, here we go a very delayed episode, but as I said in my previous post, work has been mad since new years and I havent been able to string together enough time to get much progress done. Todays episode should bring you up to date with where I am as of today.


Year2 Day 26, Minmus

Lunic IIIc (launched ages ago, robotic surface probe on Minmus) makes a short biome hop from its last site to a location identified by the orbiting Helmdar resource scanner.

Putting down on a gentle incline in the slopes biome, Lunic samples the surface and uncovers a 'rich' 8.28% Karbonite content which its onboard micro drill can recover 0.014 l/sec. It also performs a basic probe report to complete a Minmus surface science contract.
Contract payment 131,001 Funds, 1 Science, 423 Reputation.

This will serve as a beacon for the location of the Minmus fuel refinary.

Year2 Day 26, Mun



Medea II undocks from Pandora station in order to transfer back to Kerbin for re-fuelling and then to haul Cerbarus Ic to Minmus.


3,177 dV aboard should be enough for the transfer burn and a fully powered capture, there will also need to be minor correction burns to match Cerbarus' Minmus inclination.

697m/sec ejection burn from Mun followed by 55 and 58m/sec inclination change burns during the 2D transfer. Without any payload Medea II's 220KN from the 8xLV-Nc and 2.5m reaction wheel makes it quite sporty and very manuverable.



Year2 Day27, Kerbin



Pandora Mun science payload arrives at its Kerbin Pe, burning all of its remaining Xenon reaction mass (627m/sec) before re-entry to decrease stress on its heatshield


Once empty the propulsion module is discarded exposing the heatshield to the oncoming atmosphere. Re-entry proves uneventual, other than the solar panels lasting far longer than they had any right to, finally falling victim to aerodynamic stresses after surviving the entire heating phase while deployed!


Its single parachute deploys and sets the valuable payload down 'safely' (border of Andacania and .. yup you guessed it Cerimia! (why is that place soo big??))

51 Science recovered (77 converted to funds) 4,400 Funds from recovered parts + 712 from sale of data.
Contract completed Plant Science in Mun Orbit, 1,264,853 Funds, 96 Science and 29 Reputation.

This mission is the payday which will allow Charon to go from the drawing board to Duna.

Mission Cost, 247,971 Funds
Laboratory at Pandora Mun (HDIV) 228,704 - 2x 17,980
Science Payload (HDIb) 57,107 - 2x 940

1,016,882 Funds Profit, plus advanced laboratory @ Pandora Mun Station

Science income allows us to unlock Experimental Rocketry for 1,000 science, 15D research.
KCT point spent on build queue #1, now 1.55 (was 1.5)


Year 2 Day 28, Mun orbit



With the Mun finally rotated far enough that sunlight reaches the Loki anding sites the crew aboard Pandora can set about the long delayed third landing. This time Bartlorf is practically forced out of his lab leaving Aling alone as he is joined by the two other scientists Lemlie and Dersey aboard the Decender III lander.


The probe controller immediately fires the main engines once clear of Pandora performing the 352m/sec inclination change to overfly the Loki landing site.

Half an orbit later, Decender III puts down, practically on top of the Hector IV refuelling tanker. Decender has 1,961 m/sec remaining from its initial 4,050, it might have just been possible to do this mission without refuelling, but it would have been very close.

As the crew get out to pose for the obligatory landing photo, raise the (old) flag and connect the refuelling hose, Loki II rover trundles over from its own landing site to see what is up.


(One of Decender III's solar panels had to be retracted as it would collide with Hector ... maybe we took 'close' a little too literally!)

While Dersey remains with Decender to surpervise the refuelling process, Lemlie and Bartlorf take off in Loki II to investigate some local points of interest, as well as the primary mission to recover data from the robotic Loki I rover.


Skirting the rim of the main crater, its over a kilometer deep and entering it is probably a one way trip with the lack of grip this rover has (also anything above 20m/sec is suicidal). Although its handling is much better than the twisted version, Loki II still persists in trying to kill its occupants, with no apparent cause or warning the rear end will decide it wants to go first, even with no power being applied the rover is incredibly tail happy. This isnt too bad while the rover is maintaining its no-grip policy, it does however decide it has plenty of grip when the slide reaches about 20 degrees whereupon the wheels suddenly grip and toss the rover into the (not)air in a rapid tumbling roll.

Driving this rover requires you to keep the direction of motion and the vehicle in roughly the same orientation (similar to flying an aircraft, minimal AoA is safer). When you need to turn it is a case of inducing just enough slide to get the direction changed, whilst not inducing the death flip. (Think paddling a boat on ice using brooms!) Anything other than coasting in a straight line whilst crossing the join between surface planes is asking for death.

Loki I is 60km away, still in the other crater with its anomaly so after performing science at the first few objectives Lemlie turns Loki II to the North East and begins the trek. Ironically the two crew aboard Loki have larger life support reserves than Dersey who will remain with the lander. Loki carries 12 units with an additional 0.66 in each of the suits, wheras Decender only has 9, (3 in each cabin).

Covering the distance took quite some time, 60km one way at no more than 20m/sec, I did not dare timewarp at all!




Edited by Shania_L

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/11/2017 at 3:57 PM, Shania_L said:

60km one way at no more than 20m/sec, I did not dare timewarp at all!

As always, your determination is the stuff of legend. Ancient Norse legend, apparently... :D


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished reading, amazing story, I recommend you make more recoverable boosters because they are cool and cost effective.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just started reading and i have to say it's really impressive what you're doing.  Maybe i will install a couple of the mods you're using as well for my next career run.

Thanks for the interesting reports.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question, I have gotten to the point where stock ksp poses little challenge for me and I was wondering if I should jump straight into 64k or if there is some intermediary planet scale?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, FL-T400 said:

I have a question, I have gotten to the point where stock ksp poses little challenge for me and I was wondering if I should jump straight into 64k or if there is some intermediary planet scale?

6.4x is one of the more common upscales, however there are fairly well developed 3.2x and 5x mods available. Then ofcourse there is the Sigma Dimensions mod which will let you rescale to anything you like.

However if it is difficulty you are after, simply making it bigger wont change your game much beyond requiring a bigger rocket, I found more difficulty or leaning was required by using real fuels, remotetech (maybe not so much now with this in stock) FAR aerodynamic failures and lifesupport.

Hope this helps :)

Also, your previous post RE the recoverable boosters, I have been thinking about this recently and I am not sure how effective recoverable boosters are. If you compare my recoverable HoundDog Ic and the disposable SkyBolt VI. They both lift around 700-900kg to orbit however SkyBolt VI is considerably cheaper to operate and faster to build. I dont think even with KCT the benefits of recovering parts is worth the added complexity, cost or mass penalty of putting a recovery system onboard. Sticking a parachute on top of strapon boosters is the only possible exception as they need a nosecone anyway, but then side boosters are pretty cheap to start with.

On 13/02/2017 at 7:32 AM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Ancient Norse legend, apparently.

Some Norse, some Greek, others I have no idea :)


Edited by Shania_L

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Shania_L said:

I have been thinking about this recently and I am not sure how effective recoverable boosters are.

Even with Real Fuels (as in stock), the cost of propellant is still proportionally high compared to the cost of the hardware. This negates the benefits of stage recovery. Sad fact: my RSS spaceplane can actually be as expensive or even more expensive to operate than a single-use rocket, simply because it requires a lot more fuel for an equivalent payload.

We can adjust the cost of the various fuels in the community resource config files. (I chose to keep expensive fuel because it fits the backstory of my resource-starved Earth).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ok back again, hopefully working hours have returned to normal now and I can get predictable 'playtimes' and start to actually get this Duna mission underway.

This episode could have been released one of two ways, I had a little content for a short episode followed by a mad period of lots of stuff all happening at the same time which has required me to flick back and forth between craft. Once again I am endebted to Kerbal Alarm Clock for allowing all this to be possible! I have chosen to wait until I got through it all and you get this bumper episode with many things happening.

Year 2 Day 28, Mun Surface



We were last with our intrepid ramblers Lemlie and Bartlorf when they had just reached their destination ~60km from Decender IIIs landing site, retrieving science data from the robotic Loki I rover. (I could have driven Loki I back towards the landing site, but Loki II is faster) Whether by intent or not the anomaly detector would not eject its data, which is required for a contract completion, so Lemlie 'encourages it' to become disconected and they store the entire device for retrieval whole.

As they were so close to the anomaly anyway Bartlorf insists on investigating the arch closely, apparently this involves landing on top of it, as far as mission control can tell the only Science he collected was confirmation of its 160m height.


The rest of Day 28 is taken up with the 60km trek back to the lander arriving on Day 29.


Year 2, Day 29, Kerbin orbit



Interupting Mission controls enraptured attention of the long drive was the imminent arrival of the Medea II NTR tug after its transfer from Mun. Burning a little over 1,700dV Medea manages a purely powered capture into a 158 x 2,008km orbit which will allow it to intercept Cerbarus Ic after less than a full orbit.


632m/sec remain aboard, plenty for manouvering and intercept but a hefty refuel will be required before it can transfer the second mining lander to Minmus.

Later this day Loki II completes its trek across the Mun returning to Decender III lander, Dersey has managed to fully fill its tanks from the Hector IV tanker.

Transferring all the collected samples and data from the Rovers, (and the anomaly detector) to Decender its full tanks give it a touch over 4kDv plenty for ascent, plane change and intercept with Pandora.

Contract parameters complete, 4x surface samples @ selected points around Frorys Dip, 40,916 Funds, 43 Science, 21 Reputation
                                                   1x EVA report in similar location, 40,519 Funds, 14 Sci, 36 Reputation

Contract complete, 425,340 Funds, 58 Science, 271 Reputation.

But before we can liftoff, Medea II needs our attention again.

Approaching at quite a steep intercepting angle Medea II requires a 555m/sec matching burn, with no payload carried and all 8 motors burning this burn takes all of 12 seconds. Or if you prefer distance, you dont start killing off your 550+ m/sec closing velocity until you are less than 5 km from the target. Fortunately Cerbarus Ic is unmanned as I expect it got quite a decent bathing in radioactive wake .... It will form one of two accomodation modules for crew on the surface of Minmus though.


Upon docking Cerbarus Ics accidental payload of Methane is tanked across to Medea (6x 214litres) this is still far short of the volume required we shall have to send up a Hector.


Year 2, Day 30, Mun



Decender III and Pandora Mun station are finally in decent positions relative to eachother for interception, Decender burns a little short of 1,500m/sec attaining a 30km orbit this is followed by a further 360m/sec burn to plane change and give an intercept in a single orbit.


Wasting no time once docked Lemlie, Bartlorf and Dersey transfer direct to Lilith II bringing all their science (and the anomaly detector) just before undocking they (remember to) yell at Aling to jump aboard as well. Another reason Decender III was filled to the brim before taking off was that any excess fuel was to be transferred into Lilith to assist in its return to Kerbin.

Lilith II undocks, leaving Pandora Mun station unmanned, before burning 700 of its 3,500 (not fully fuelled) dV capacity Lilith ejects itself onto a Kerbin transfer.



Year 2 Day 31, KSC



Launch of a modified HoundDog III carrying Hector V. Rather than having a seperate free flying payload, Hector V is instead mounted permanantly onto the upper stage of HoundDog III utilising this as its propulsion and control module. Hector V is a mildly cryogenic (insulated but with no active chilling) liquified methane tanker to refuel Medea II.


The blended payload/upper stage results in a very short fairing and an almost stumpy look for the HDIII.

Lifting into a 134x164 km orbit with only 240dV remaining a conservative (read slow) intercept with Medea/Cerbarus will have to be plotted. 84m/sec is burned giving an intercept in 4 orbits.


Hector V itself is incredibly basic, little more than an insulated tank for the 5,500 litres of methane with some RCS propellent for docking and a senior docking port to couple with Medea or Cerbarus.

Mission cost 86,493 Funds no recovery.


Year 2 Day 33, Low Kerbin orbit



Day 33, a very busy day in mission control.

Hector intercepts Medea/Cerbarus, using 90 of its 130dV Hector manages a close intercept.


Medea and Cerbarus have to separate in order to dock with Hector, Medea goes first in order to take the bulk of Hectors payload, Hector than drains the last of the HydroLox from Cerbarus' HDIII upper stage before jettisonning it ... oops. The Cerbarus payload was right on HDIII capacity and the upper stage was stripped of its command and control abilities to save mass. This HDIII upper stage is now junk, drifting in a stable orbit right through my preferred (Minmus inclined) parking orbits.

Medea and Cerbarus redock now having plenty of dV for the Minmus transfer. Hector V meanwhile is sent to chase down the errant space junk and eliminate it (without causing an explosion of deadly shrapnel)

Without its payload and with the added fuel scavanged from Cerbarus' booster Hector has a decent supply of dV, enough to chase down and intercept its target. Nuzzling up to the prograde side and applying enough thrust retrograde without physical attachment often causes both stages to tumble around each other. However, after multiple attempts the Pe of both boosters is dropped low enough for Kerbins atmosphere to do the rest.


Ohh but Day 33 isnt finished with us yet, ohh no!

Now comes the part where 3 different craft want to arrive at their own Pe burns within the span of 27 minutes.

Decender IV and Cerbarus Ib who left Kerbin 5 days apart are now arriving separated by 23 minutes, Decender being crewed has not only made up the time, but is arriving first. 23 minutes is doable, despite coming in pretty hot both of these craft are designed for Duna and as such are rather well endowelled in the thrust department resulting in short burns, The issue is with Lilith II arriving at Kerbin 4 minutes ahead of Decender (for a 2.5 minute capture burn).

To separate out this bottleneck a little, Decender (which has a nice dV buffer) burns 200m/sec to delay its arrival by 3 minutes, giving me 7 minutes for Lilith and 20 for Decender before Cerbarus arrives.

Soo, here goes,

Lilith arrives at Kerbin, 1,854m/sec burn to capture and line up intercept with Pandora later in its orbit, 2 min 22 sec. Captures to 101 x 1,477km with 977dV remaining.


470 seconds later Decender IV lights up its engines for the 1,050m/sec Minmus capture burn. Aldmore and Sigbert endure nearly 2G for the 45 seconds it takes to capture to 33 x 33km orbit. (1,500Dv remain)


Then after a relatively leasurely 19 minutes of peace Cerbarus Ib arrives at its own Pe to perform a breaking burn of 651m/sec, taking all of 22 seconds at 3G. Leaving it parked in a 58 x 55km orbit with 1,120m/sec left in the tanks (and about 400 in the lander)



To top it off however, Cerbarus Ib has ended up in a rather fortuatous position, passing close by Lunic IIIc (which marks the intended mining site) just as it is passing into Minmus' night, if we land immediately there should still be light on the slopes.

Medea III burns the minute 85m/sec required to complete a hefty plane change and slow into a rather steeply decending trajectory, undocks from Cerbarus and then spends a whole 95m/sec to boost back into a stable orbit.

Cerbarus meanwhile fires up its onboard control and warms the motors, Cerbarus has no power generation whilst in flight, it carries a pair of enormous Gigantor solar arrays which cannot be retracted once deployed .. landing with them deployed would be 'problematic'. So once again we are on the clock, 953 Ec stored aboard, we have to land and deploy the arrays before it runs dry. With only a short range antenna connecting to Min-Net rather than a power hungry dish this shouldnt be much of an issue though. We have 435dV in our side mounted UDMH/NTO motors capable of producing 44KN which should also be excessive.


Landing shortly after dusk barely 300m from Lunic, having used around 2/3 its fuel Cerbarus is down safe.
Cerbarus deploys its arrays and drill to ensure te system actually works!

The larger inline drill manages a little under 0.05 litres Karbonite per second, which the converter successfully turns into LOx and Methane (Because Minmus is made of both water and CO2 ice ofcourse:) )

With this system proved to actually work and produce fuel, refuelling Charon here is becoming an actual possibility, we just need volume now.



Edited by Shania_L

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Shania_L said:

Approaching at quite a steep intercepting angle Medea II requires a 555m/sec matching burn, with no payload carried and all 8 motors burning this burn takes all of 12 seconds.


21 hours ago, Shania_L said:

470 seconds later Decender IV lights up its engines for the 1,050m/sec Minmus capture burn. Aldmore and Sigbert endure nearly 2G for the 45 seconds it takes to capture to 33 x 33km orbit.


21 hours ago, Shania_L said:

Then after a relatively leasurely 19 minutes of peace Cerbarus Ib arrives at its own Pe to perform a breaking burn of 651m/sec, taking all of 22 seconds at 3G.

Am I seeing a pattern here? Oh yes. Moar thrust!

You, madame, are a TWR barbarian.

Glad to see that your ISRU concept works though. And kudos for actually testing it before sending a crew (who's life depends upon it) off into the void with it. :D

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, UnusualAttitude said:

Am I seeing a pattern here? Oh yes. Moar thrust!

You, madame, are a TWR barbarian.

Glad to see that your ISRU concept works though. And kudos for actually testing it before sending a crew (who's life depends upon it) off into the void with it. :D

TtW ratio, its not just a good idea, its the Law!

As I mentioned, these craft have excessive thrusts for the missions they are currently performing due to being designed not only for Duna, but for significantly heavier payloads.
Medea III which carried Cerbarus to Minmus did so with 10% (if that) fuel load when it left orbit, it is designed to be able to match the trajectory of Charon and lob 8-10 tonnes of payload at Duna on the fast track transit. Fully fuelled they are going to need all the thrust they have, and then some!

I have only self modded the one MethaLox engine, so it comes in one size only, Decender has one of them, Medea III has two and the Medea IIIb variant is designed for lifting payloads from Dunas surface, it has 3. That one arrives at Minmus next, we shall see if it can best the current capture burn record of 22 seconds at 3G :)

As for testing the ISRU, that is a side effect, I really need Minmus to fuel Charon. Lifting 2-300 tonnes of Methane from KSC with my current stable of lifters would not only take many many launches but would be prohibitively slow and expencive. 25t a time so between 10-15 HDIV launches just for fuel, it takes over a day to reset the launchpad from a HDIV launch and I have to get Charon and its components up too with time ticking away on the transfer window. Not to mention the cost, HDIV eats around quarter a mil Funds each launch, you are looking at spending 2x the hardware costs of Charon simply fuelling it.

Minmus on the other hand has unlimited quantities of free fuel in a nice shallow gravity well, the only issue lies in being able to harvest it fast enough.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Is there anybody in here? :wink:


Wow, 2 months already? I have been somewhat lacking in post numbers recently. In my defence I have been out of the country for a few weeks of that, and I'm going to be away for another few fairly soon but after that (end of May) it should calm down and I'll get regular timings again.

I have a few things achieved (also a random screwup that I have no idea how it occoured as it was something I was very definately paying attention to so that it didnt happen!) but not enough content for a decent post, I'll see if I can get something together before I go away again.

Incidentally A380s are awesome, double height cabins = soo much headroom!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Shania_L said:

Incidentally A380s are awesome, double height cabins = soo much headroom!

Indeed, I believe that it is the only airliner on which you can successfully shoot the music video of a rock band and still have headroom to spare.



I'm glad to see you are still around, and looking forward to moar, too...

Edited by UnusualAttitude

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shania_L said:

Incidentally A380s are awesome, double height cabins = soo much headroom!

Just be sure you don't get stuck in the "beaten and dragged off" section, usually right across from the "non-stop crying baby" row. :D

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now