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Hagen von Tronje

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Posts posted by Hagen von Tronje

  1. No. We don't need any more tanks. What we need is a tweakable to make them LF only.

    I like this idea best. Would make a lot more sense not just with NERVAs but with spaceplanes where you might want to tweak liquid/oxy ratios to suit missions without leaving a bunch of empty fuselage space, as well as control where mass is removed from during flight more effectively.

  2. Which "ultimate gaming PC" builder-store is offering this, and at how many thousands of dollars of markup over assembling yourself?

    FWIW while this would obviously get somewhat better FPS than most, I'd bet money it still pulls single digits on gigantic stations or debris fields. Presumably it would run exactly as many mods as any other PC with more than adequate hardware. I don't think KSP utilizes three GPUs effectively or puts an octocore to any real strain despite being CPU bound.

  3. The answer is yes using KIS, but you must have enough Kerbals in range of the engine to "lift" it. They can lift 1t each, so make sure you can get that many in range of it. You won't necessarily have to be able to place it in anyone's inventory, you can lift and place things far too large to actually carry in a container so long as you have the manpower.

    IIRC once you are in range, you press 'G' to enter "grab" mode and pick things up, then drag/drop it either into an inventory or into another placement.

    'X' should be for attach mode, when you're holding an object hold 'x' to attach it to a point rather than simply place it (without attach, objects will fall off, which is actually what you want if you're trying to cast them overboard).

    If you have enough kerbals available and/or light enough parts KIS/KAS will let you pretty much reconstruct your entire ship in space if you like.

  4. My personal tip if you're constructing an intricate rocket/lander with lots of moving parts or detailed structural work (i.e. things you have to take your time to line up carefully or engage in some kind of wizardry to make attach right) is to save immediately after satisfactory placement of the parts or set of parts. Don't adjust stages first, don't tweakables something, save first, THEN make further adjustments. CTRL+Z will undo your last action but this can also bug up your action groups on occasion, and I don't like nasty surprises midflight. Basically if I make a booboo and pick up a whole segment of my build with lots of things attached to it, I reload the "safe" save rather than risking errors creeping in. If I lose a part I swore I just had, I reload. No screwy struts, no nonfunctional action groups, no 1+x staging.

  5. Challenge accepted.

    Javascript is disabled. View full album

    Parts: 11

    Mass: 28.0t

    Three stages counting the one mandatory stage

    Personal limitation: Both nodes must be >100km above Kerbin, and must complete at least one full orbit. Must finish with zero resources for efficiency.

    About the landing: the rocket holds together if you splashdown, and most times on land. This just so happened to hit a mountainside, destroying the Hammer. Valentina and the pod were both completely intact. Hopefully no deduction for this. When it does hold together properly, every part but the first stage and decoupler are recoverable as well. If you added a radial chute preprogrammed for deploy you might also recover the first stage, making this pretty cheap to launch.

    I have KAS and Infernal Robotics installed (hence the icon) but no parts were used in this rocket, 100% stock.

    Nice challenge, just doing it wasn't too hard but optimizing was tougher than I thought.

  6. AFAIK the most straightforward answer is to go slower, i.e. bring more fuel. At least, I don't think I'd want to rely on aerobraking to have enough to safely land, but I'm not such a great pilot so I try to account for that. Also this seems like it would lead to imprecise landing and maybe splashing you into the ocean.

    You can survive going in surprisingly fast (at least surprising to me) but if you're going in too steep or too fast, you're toast, no questions asked. Drogue chutes, A.I.R.B.R.A.K.E.S., and heat shields can all save on fuel if you can put them to use, really it's just like Kerbin but harder (and no jets).

  7. As of last night I lost an engine to a "phantom clamp" so they are definitely physical objects, not just glitched illusions. It is a decidedly oversized rocket, even after removing all clamps the engines are wider than the pad, so that could probably have something to do with it.

    Strangely I have now also seen A.I.R.B.R.A.K.E.S. spawn like this. Seems to occur most often when mach effects start up or change.

  8. The argument that landing doesn't take as much fuel doesn't really work for me though. Since you can make fuel once you land, your tanks can be bone dry and it doesn't really matter. Being able to use efficient air breathing engines is a bonus though.

    I think it is a consideration, no? If you're setting up a surface mining operation, at least one of the components is going to have large volume tanks for holding or hauling. Landing on thrusters means taking fuel with you for that purpose, whereas landing in atmosphere means you can empty the tanks either getting there or setting up the landing site, then use chutes to get safely to the ground. Cuts back on the cost to send it there in the first place since fuel in the lander can count towards something other than just putting it down. When making deliveries, that's also fuel that doesn't have to be used by the hauler - which of course could be a spaceplane.

    I have a huge refinery on course for Jool right now, planning to put it down on Laythe for pretty much this reason. I fully expect the tanks to be empty on landing, so I packed an absurd number of chutes. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but it seemed like a decent idea to me, since it's all of the holding volume, none of the dead weight in the tanks, and easy braking.

  9. I installed my first mods for the exact same reason. Getting the z-axis perfect on surface docking is nearly impossible, especially if variable fuel weight can enter the equation - and why wouldn't it, you're likely docking to move fuel.

    KIS/KAS will do it with the least work and can accomplish either non-docking refueling via pipe or assist in some methods of docking by using winches to pull yourself into position, if your docking ports are built to allow for that. It will also allow you to do a bunch of other fun things, like replace parts if they get broken (and you packed spares, say some extra solar panels in case you smack into one while derping about on EVA) or build new structures on a surface. You don't have to do that if all you're after is the pipes. You can also use winches as EVA tethers so your kerbals don't drift into space if they lose their grip or miss the target. Personally, I think any race that can build a nuclear engine and generate fuel from mined ore in a compact unit can also tie a rope around their waists, ya know?

    Infernal Robotics can offer an alternative method of docking alignment by attaching moving parts, like rails, to your landing struts or even to docking parts themselves, allowing you to do things like adjust either an adapter or the entire craft's height, as well as create cranes, robotic arms, rotors, and whatever else you can think of to do with the basic planes of movement.

    Take the plunge and install them both. Take what suits your purpose now and if you decide you want to play with the new legos these give you, they'll be there. They certainly open a lot of avenues for craft building and EVA activities.

  10. Yeah, the first time it happened to me I had a mini-freak moment and just slammed the Esc button and froze thinking ".... ... just happened". It scared the crap out of me

    Oh yeah, and it may have happened on much lighter rockets, more than once I saw debris much closer than staging suggested it should be or saw "trails" from what certainly looked like parts flying past me, but I never saw the clamps - possibly because on those rockets my FPS and velocity were both high enough that I didn't get a chance to see before they were gone, while on a huge, lumbering laggy rocket it's pretty obvious.

  11. Wasn't sure if this would go under science or lounge. It's not all that science-y so I chose here.

    Anyone else build model rockets, currently or in the past?

    I haven't in years, but as a kid my brother and I would build Estes rockets and launch them. I even still remember the names of several we built - the Alpha II (I think it was II) starter rocket, a Mosquito (no parachute, tiny rocket), Bullpup, and I actually built but never had the guts to launch a Trident II, which looked amazing but I could never bring myself to tempt breaking it in half or losing it to a bad wind. I also built but never launched one whose name I forget, but used something like 5-6 huge engines and supposedly required FCC permission to launch with all engines - mostly I didn't launch it because I couldn't find the heavy-duty launchpad required, and this was pre-internet. Also notable was one with a clear payload tube, which opened up an awful lot of possibilities that we never fully took advantage of, but was nevertheless a stone-age version of what drone enthusiasts seem to go for nowadays.

    Sadly like a lot of kids' hobbies this one ended when I came home from school one day to find all my rockets gone, my mom saying I don't really need toys like that anymore.

    Besides teaching me a lot about the importance of symmetry and aerodynamics (and the basics of staging!), this was also my first introduction to trig - you could buy an altitude finder that used a pendulum gauge and crosshairs at a fixed distance to measure apogee (assuming you measured distance right and the rocket didn't deviate heading too much, of course...it was more of a ballpark estimate).

    Maybe more importantly, it really sealed my love of crafting things. Launching was great, but just as enjoyable to me was sanding each balsa fin to be smooth and even, lining my attachments up perfectly, all that. The launch was still important though - without practical application, it's just a pretty wall hanger, and even then I liked something with application.

    So, anyone else have fond memories or still build these?

  12. I see what you're getting at, low atmosphere super/hypersonic jets? Makes sense you'd dump heat for that.

    Unfortunately the closest thing to an idea that I have is, bizarrely enough, maybe attaching Gigantor solar panels to the fuselage, in the open, and not extending them. This only even occurs to me because I've seen them get way hotter than the rest of the craft on some atmospheric entries, which makes me wonder if physics don't make them act as heatsinks even retracted. Obviously they might explode from overheating, too, and I might even just be a dummy seeing things where they don't exist, but that's all I got.

    I can say that retractable radiators do seem to pull heat from any part, I've sent sun-diving probes with nuclear engines and large radiators, and the panels did in fact heat up in thermal display after the nukes got pretty hot despite being attached to the body of the craft. But I have no idea if the game treats heat from parts the same as heat from drag.

  13. I backed a 1000 ton lander into Eve's atmosphere at over 3000m/s, no drogue chutes, and only six nose chutes. Retracted solar panels overheated on one attempt but a reattempt resulted in everything staying attached and a successful landing.

    No heat shields, just six Rhinos. Nothing even showed bars - the solar panels that exploded on the one attempt glowed red then exploded spontaneously, presumably they were acting as heatsinks, not generating heat themselves from drag.

    I've also entered Kerbin atmosphere going 3km/s+ using a spaceplane and braked using just drag on the dorsal side of the craft (i.e. I went in belly-first), again nothing showed bars (except some static solar panels mounted on the top of the fuselage, once - they survived fine, I just didn't pull my nose up soon enough so they showed bars). Monoprop tanks and all other stuff under my wings were fine.

    Basically it seems to me that unless you're doing a reentry that would burn up much of the ablator on a heat shield, you likely don't truly need one. Now I kinda want to try to see how fast you can enter an atmosphere with the large shield and still survive fine.

  14. It's an aerodynamic surface with no structural integrity, naturally it will fly off when any force is applied.

    If for some reason you just want the challenge of launching an atmospheric craft with extensible panels, I think the only way to do it would be to totally occlude the panel, presumably by attaching it to the underside of a center column and surrounding it with radial columns (probably tanks though I guess structural panels could encase it too). You'll want to leave the back open so you can access it to deploy. This craft will of course be incapable of going retrograde inside the atmosphere...

    But I'm not sure radiators are even meant to do anything useful in the atmosphere? For some reason I thought they were used for heat sink while in space where you can't use atmospheric ventilation. Either way there are static radiator panels that don't fly off so easily, and I'd be really curious what you've built that needs this much heat radiation while in flight within the atmosphere.

    EDIT: For whatever reason I decided to try this. It works fine as long as you never change trajectory, but if you do, even slightly, you will lose your panels no matter how occluded they are, even totally entombed in structural panels and surrounded by tanks. I have no idea whether this is because atmospheric physics are imperfect or because Kerbals can't make an airtight weld or what, but that's what my testing suggests.

  15. I've had this happen with and without mods.

    It happens most often on rockets with high part counts (read: laggy at launch), and now that it's brought up, they do seem to have the extra large decouplers, with physics enabled to allow correct staging.

    The launch clamps are stock, and so far have always just fallen harmlessly away from my rockets when they do this mystery spawn, it just looks wonky.

  16. I did my first successful SSTO and landing last night using a spaceplane.

    I didn't use airbrakes. I lowered periapsis to about 10km (which is maybe lower than necessary but I figured I'd try for a steep reentry) then entered the atmosphere belly facing retrograde. Nothing overheated (or showed bars) or took any damage and I braked from about 2500m/s to pretty much whichever speed I felt like gliding at. For this maneuver I kept RCS on, and I had a pair of one-way RCS nozzles on the top and bottom of the nose specifically for forced attitude control in situations like this where I need to defy the atmosphere a bit. Also had 4-way RCS nozzles on the wingtips.

    I was able to reignite airbreathing engines by dropping to safe speed then turning towards prograde to get airflow, but only needed this if I wanted precision landing site selection as I did gliding landings, usually touching down at under 40m/s and braking to a full stop well within runway lengths.

    Don't know if that's the best way, but spaceplane part descriptions are explicit about their use for reentry shielding so that's exactly how I employed them. Though come to think of it, I had monoprop tanks and fuel lines down under the wings and none of that overheated either. I should also point out that I am an awful pilot but do it all by hand using a keyboard so I don't think the maneuver can be THAT hard to execute, FWIW.

  17. Personally, since you're playing sandbox I'd set up a modular/expandable station with well placed docking ports in LKO, then build a modular "chunk of fuel tanks" that can be docked to said station and a tug/lifter that gets it there. Expand station with fuel reserves as desired. Since it's sandbox, there's no reason you can't make the tug only barely get there, dock it, break it off, then delete the debris from KSC, making the design much simpler than a reusable tug and failure much less troublesome since you simply revert launch if things go badly. As fuel gets used you can just dock and refuel then delete the entire tug and tanks. Basic probe cores provide full SAS in sandbox as well so they can be unmanned making the deletion that much simpler.

    If you built things wisely you can then tack an engine module to the end of said station and push it as far as you like, using it as a gloriously gigantic "mid stage" to go to whichever planet you feel like. Build a mining lander and use it + shuttles to refuel the station at moons or planets. Or, just fill up a regular ol' midstage that's also capable of acting as a lifter to the station, allowing you to cut out the first stage entirely if you like compact or low part count rockets, though this seems like more trouble than it's worth.

    Personally I think mining is best done in sandbox mode in places where you can't easily just lift up fuel at will from Kerbin, like on a moon of Jool or the surface of Eve. I also think that if you build direct ascent landers, mining facilities straight up "pay for themselves" in weight by letting you take only what fuel you need to make the landing with empty tanks that hold enough, when filled, to return to Kerbin (or wherever they're going actually, this applies also to landers from orbiting stations as well if they're large enough, like a construction platform). I made my direct ascent Munar landers lighter by replacing fuel tanks with mining to refill other tanks.

  18. Hi all, first post. Inspired to join the forum and share a recent mission that proved more adventurous than expected.

    A little background:

    I've played KSP for 182 hours as of this writing. I have some background in rocketry - by which I mean, I built Estes rockets as a kid, and I've maintained an active interest in astronomy and general engineering since, but I am not a professional or even a college-level physics geek. I'm currently using KIS/KAS, no other mods. I allow myself quicksaves, because I'm a terrible pilot and I don't use MechJeb.

    I also have done absolutely minimal research on this game! Completely intentionally - I wanted to explore the Kerbolsystem on my own terms, so I haven't read about what might be in store on other celestial bodies. Prior to this trip, I'd fully explored the Mun and largely explored Minmus, if large is the word, mostly to use the Mun as a testbed for new ideas and to get that sweet science. I play science mode right now, so all the thrill of exploration, none of the headaches of finances. This, combined with playing blind, has led me to overengineer everything. Just in case.

    I build "castle" style landers for direct ascent missions. I'm sure I'm not the first to think "I can't dock very well, and these legs barely reach past the engines...so radial mount tanks" and went from there. Eventually, I added drills, a bottom-mount rover (the reason I use KIS/KAS, I really got fed up with trying to microtune height on surface docks, only to be thwarted by variable weight from fuel), and a bunch of other stuff - then I supersized it for interplanetary missions.

    I planned to visit Duna first, but after experimentation showed that launch windows for Eve were much sooner on my file, I decided "Screw it, how bad can it be?" and slapped on parachutes to my Duna-designed lander - and that's it. I had no idea what to really expect, except that I knew Eve sported an atmosphere. I seriously left planning to do a retrograde burn landing like on the Mun; I tested my lander lifting off then landing itself on Kerbin with just engines, and I assumed (haha) that, as in the real world, Kerbin's gravity would be the highest of any surface Kerbalkind can actually land on.

    The trip there was shockingly stable, the lifter and midstage performed beyond expectations, by far the most stable design I'd built yet. I managed to tweak out a 200km flyby of Eve, and arrived there with rather small but significant fuel left in the midstage, allowing me to empty it closing orbit before dumping.

    Which turned out to be nice, because my first attempt to penetrate the atmosphere of Eve resulted in a horrible fireball.

    The second involved a whole lot more retrograde burn, and I didn't explode. I thought I would, every part of my ship trailed fire, and things blew up once in a while. Miraculously, I landed, broke half my legs, and almost kept the save, except I realized the "stuff blowing up" was all my solar panels. Thinking I could do better, I reloaded.

    The third time, I jockeyed the throttle carefully, letting the atmosphere do some of the work but not letting it pull me apart.


    I actually got quite a bit hotter than this, but this is the first time I felt relaxed enough to take a snapshot. While the two "full" engines are actually my rover, I did reserve a couple hundred fuel for a burn right at landing to try to cushion it a bit. You might also notice I built a lander using Kerbodyne parts. Yeah, science mode...


    Parachutes successfully deployed, and all my solar panels still attached! I actually would have accepted losing 2-4 of them, I not only overengineered, I packed spares using KIS. Even with six of the double sized chutes deployed, I still fell at 15m/s, certainly not how I'm most comfortable landing in a ship this large. Did I mention I didn't even do my homework? I found out Eve has >1.6 surface gravity when I came into orbit around it and opened the info window. In truth, I'd spent the last week only in VAB, and made a backup save before launch, so I barely cared if this worked out, I just wanted to get out of the shop. I'd also been pretty sick the last week, and didn't feel up to flying.


    Miraculously, a safe touchdown with no explosions! I fired the last of my main fuel tanks the second of landing, to no effect. My landing zone is on a peninsula between two seas, in a biome called the peaks. And actually, though nothing blew up, something sounded...broken. And holy smokes, look at how deep my landing struts are buried! I actually locked suspension after landing to try to lift up, which gained me a little, but this is with legs locked, so it looks like we're kinda stuck in the dirt. Whoops. This lander was designed to be a mobile refinery and exploration vessel, with the mission concept of landing on Ike, refueling there, then either proceeding to Duna or establishing base on Ike for refueling future missions to Duna. Which is actually why it's so oversized, I wanted it to be capable of either lifting off with planet-grade engines and fuel or refueling other ships that will, so they don't need mining gear. Let's get out and inspect the damage.


    The lander itself stands over 90m tall on Kerbin. It's probably not quite as tall on Eve, but it's not too much shorter, which is an encouraging sign. Also reassuring is that I tested the ladders on the landing pad, since I'm guessing letting go and falling to the surface from atop this small skyscraper is less fun here than on Minmus. At this point I was thinking about how I might repack those parachutes so I can move the base somewhere more scenic in the future. Reality has yet to sink in.


    First Kerbal to set foot on Eve! Or any planet or moon other than Kerbin and its satellites, for that matter. Also, six flat tires. That explains some of the banging around I heard on landing. On the bright side, that's about the nicest thing to have break, so thank you rover, for possibly being the only reason this didn't end in fiery death. The first Kerbal sent down is an engineer, specifically in case anything is broken, as I didn't even realize what all I'd lost my first attempt until inspecting. Hopefully no legs gave out; I did bring two spare landing struts but instability would not be nice.


    I named this site "The Desert of Temptation." It seemed appropriate, because Eve, and because it was my own impatient temptation to explore that got me here. The desert part...well, look around. It's a purple Sahara. Quite a pleasant surprise, I had managed to avoid even looking at pictures of Eve until getting here, and a lot more inspiring than Mun voyage #20. My landing site isn't terrible, not perfectly level like you'd like for a base, but good enough considering I did a zero-fuel-remaining entry. Let's check out the rover, I really hope it isn't too broken. I've tested it on Kerbin but never on another celestial body. I was going to take it to the Mun, but I was burned out on that place after testing ultralight rovers with no downforce (slow going to say the least) and wanted to see the sights elsewhere.


    Besides the flat tires, everything is intact. Here you can get a view of my rover. It's a six-wheel crawler with a pretty generous fuel tank, enough for small scale fuel hauling, backup solar panels (both retractable and OX-STAT for safety in case I run out of battery with fuel cells off like an idiot), and toolboxes. You'll also notice it sports downthrusters, which is maybe not what I would have picked out had I known about Eve's gravity, but oh well. They can be removed if need be. It can carry two Kerbals, or drive unmanned, and on Kerbin it hit top speeds of 25m/s with the rear four wheels in drive. As you can see, it mounts to the bottom, and I actually calibrated it to fit perfectly on Kerbin with full tanks, again thinking no planet had greater gravity than Kerbin, so using hooks with KAS (the whole reason I got KAS in fact) would allow me to pull into docked mode reliably and easily under any lesser gravity or mass than that, as the dock would be slightly above me, but never too tight. This would allow the rover to be taken with me wherever I go, besides refueling.

    Plainly, Eve has thrown a wrench in that plan. The intense gravity has compressed the rover under the lander, and it struggles to get out from under the dock - and then one of the hooks gets stuck. Fortunately, the engineer removes the hook, the winch is retracted, and the rover manages to pull free, creating a scenario that arose from glitchy clipping from the compression but is a surprisingly realistic analog to getting something like that snarled up in a rough landing. I'm certainly not getting it back under there, at least not without some modifications.


    In spite of everything, the base is fully operational. Drills are finding ore, and quite a bit of it in fact. This is a relief, since I also didn't bother to send a scanning satellite up front. Sometimes you just gotta trust that things will work out. However, the double stacked solar panels, which work pretty well at making sure I get plenty of coverage no matter which way I'm facing in space, aren't doing so great here. Six drills, an ore converter, and a mobile lab all running at once is drawing more power than I'm producing, and it looks like the lower panels are being blocked. Well, I'm sure we can do something about that, but first, let's stretch our legs, shall we? After the obligatory science collection, my brave engineer meets up with the captain.


    Let's go to the beach! We didn't sit on top of a tower of explosions to launch some unfathomable distance across the Kerbolsystem so we could sit around mining rocks! We can mine rocks right on the launch pad if that's what we feel like doing. You know what we can't do on the launch pad? Set our eyes across an alien sea. And you know what else? I bet you anything mission control can't do a thing about it.

    Aye, aye, captain!


    And so the pilot and the engineer set out under the glare of the late morning sun, the stifling Even...Evian...Eval.....atmosphere of Eve requiring the suits stay on, however much "purple desert" says this is a shirts-optional affair. I suppose taking a scientist or even second engineer would have been more optimal than the pilot, but hey, she got us here in one piece, she gets to see the beach.

    The rover may not have been designed for Eve, but it might as well have been. Aside from never needing the downthrusters, it drove like it was made for the place; in fact, never needing downthrusters meant I could run fuel cells guilt-free, and even with 4-wheel drive and pedal to the metal, fuel was consumed so slowly I thought it was glitched at first. I did 22-25m/s on average, more downhill, topping out at an amazing (to me) 38m/s on one downslope, and never once did it even feel like it might roll over. Whereas going uphill on the Mun is preferable, on Eve I found myself grateful for having six wheels just to muscle up some hills (though it pushed right up like a champ, rarely dropping below 18m/s uphill) but practically flying downhill. I could even turn while going full speed, so in that regard, driving on Eve is actually even better than driving on Kerbin. It's certainly easier than driving on Minmus.


    My first glimpse of the sea through the hills! Eve is bigger than I realized, a distance that looked rather close turned out to be dozens of km away. I shouldn't be surprised because I know this by now, but it still hasn't fully sunk in. After a cautious save, I learn that while at x3 and x4 physics warp random stuff explodes, at x2 I can safely cruise control across the surface, gas floored, and make not totally unreasonable progress. I'm actually quite excited to see the ocean! It crosses my mind that this place, while probably not dangerous as long as you weren't utterly lost somehow, would look eerie at night, and also might have a very long night. There are some things I'd like to do at the base before nightfall, and I haven't bothered to look up Eve's sidereal period, so assuming this is just like Venus might be a mistake. Indeed, the sun does seem a bit higher as I approach the sea.


    My pilot plants a flag at the first shore I encounter. I name it the Bay of Medusa, in a blatant ripoff of Venus's naming of features after mythological females. But that doesn't look like water to me, chief. It doesn't look like something I want to swim in, and while I've tried avoiding spoilers, I've heard whispers of some Kraken something or other. Well, if I had to guess where to find a Kraken, this isn't a bad place to look. Yet swim in it I do, because I want a sample. Unfortunately, even after swimming out way further than I thought you could, so far it gives me the heebie jeebies, I still get Midlands samples. I return to shore, not sure this day at the beach was what I expected, and resolved to find a real sample. I already got peaks and midlands, so I know there are real biomes here, and I know you did not cover so much surface with liquid to give me no sample, Squad. Let's drive further along the shore, this is after all a bay, and to the west there's a shore on the open ocean.


    The weird shores of the alien sea. I did get a sample here - the Explodium Sea? tvtropes references, in my space program? It's more likely than you think. How about nobody light a match, and if a Kraken lives in there, I'm outta here before he dines on Kerbal soup.

    The trip back was largely uneventful, but for the final proof that the rover, at least, has proven highly successful, I used only 20 units of fuel out of 180 in the tank, and had most of my battery left to boot. Maybe we'll take the thrusters off when we get home, if we feel like another drive later. But man, Eve is really big. Lunar biomes are close enough together to get some variety in samples with rover trips, but it seems like it will be quite a journey here.

    When I get home, I park the car, let the pilot take a nap, and call out a second engineer to give a hand. We've got some work to do, so we unload some basic construction equipment and containers. The long drive to the beach gave me plenty of time to think, and what I think this base needs is pretty straightforward - it needs a better solar plant. Half my panels are blocked in the noonday sun, and at morning and evening, another half lose light. That won't do when I'm running under full power, and I'll want my batteries full for nightfall.


    So let's build a solar farm. This is the first time I've used KIS/KAS off the launch pad, but I don't see why I couldn't lay down some pylons and plant my panels on those, with a pipe acting as a conduit. I brought two spare solar panels in my storage, but we'll want to take some of the lower panels down off my refinery and move them out here. That will require climbing, and EVA propellant does nothing useful here. Fortunately, I also brought 20 units of the static ladder, and a telescoping ladder in case one of mine broke, so we can probably build a temporary access ladder to get the down.


    It turned out to be trickier than I thought. I had to climb the girders because Rhinos are huge, and because Kerbals evidently can pull themselves up just fine if you jump to a ledge but not from a ladder leading right up to that ledge, I had to stack boxes and make a ladder that ran up, diagonal, then sideways, in true Kerbal fashion, to get close enough to detach the panels. I also had to bring up a container and mount to drop them in, then go back down, taking the ladder back down with me as I went, then finally deliver the panels for repositioning on the ground plant.

    It might as well be noted that while that sounds smooth, I managed to blow stuff up over and over and over, sometimes falling to my death as well. Oh yeah, I learned not to leave stuff hooked up to your ship with KAS. That leads to more explosions. I quicksaved often to avoid that mess, life here is hard enough without glitches or brainfarts dooming the entire mission. Some of it was of course my fault...how many times can I really forget to hold 'x' while attaching?


    Construction does eventually proceed, albeit at a snail's pace. Not helping is my obsessive love of straight lines and symmetry, and without the VAB's tools, this is painstaking, to say nothing of how many times I, again, blew things up, usually by leaving things connected that I should have left alone for a while. The two engineers work well as a team, really cutting back on trips around the legs and even handing each other things just out of reach. Just that little touch of realism, somehow, at least as much as you can expect when you control one at a time.


    The solar plant is complete and operational! And it works! Now will all systems running, I still produce surplus energy. I just have to make sure to unlink the pipe leading directly into the ship before saving or going back to KSC, since the ship "jumps" every time you load in, jolting the solar assemblies and pretty much destroying everything. Disappointing but not unexpected and it probably can't be helped with my suspension so compressed and my legs buried in the sand, given that KSP seems to do that "loading bounce" on any landed vessel, just not usually with such dramatic results. Perhaps a future project will be taking the landing struts and even engines off and putting this on the ground, because after generating a bit of fuel to test things out, I made a quicksave and tried firing all engines at full, just to see what happens.

    Nothing happens. I don't get 0.1m/s of upward velocity. My legs don't compress as hard, but several stay buried. I don't know whether it's because Eve's gravity is so incredible that six Rhinos can't lift this thing even with empty tanks, or if the landing struts are literally stuck in the ground; when I tried retracting gear, several struts would not retract and stayed stuck in the ground. I guess I might let an engineer try removing those legs to see if that liberates me, but I have the strong suspicion that Eve is this crew's new home. Even if I could get out of the atmosphere, what am I going to do, mine Gilly then fly back to Kerbin? Most likely, exit would require an orbital fuel station around Eve with a refinery on Gilly (if you can mine Gilly - there's no way it's economical even in science mode to haul fuel from Kerbin or lift it from Eve) and a purpose-built shuttle to get from Eve to orbit.

    But that's alright, because Eve turns out to not be such a bad place to live. I didn't drink Kerbin water either, and I imagine this ship must have amazing air conditioning, so my Kerbals ought to be pretty happy with things. After all, this ship design's original purpose was to act as a major fuel refinery to pave the way for future missions, even if it wasn't meant to do that here on Eve. I brought everything I could think of with the expectation that it would be a one-way mission in all likelihood, since I doubt I will want to abandon Eve altogether at any point, so the only question is really getting the full science reports home for the fun of it (I hardly need science, I still have some tech to unlock but I could datamine the Mun for that if I feel pressured to). But that's a mission for another day.


    The engineers congratulate each other on a job well done, having powered their new home. There's still more to do - the rover could use modifications, we might as well take down the docking assembly and maybe relocate it, and who knows, maybe we're going to take this thing off legs and engines and make it into a building someday. No idea how well or if that will work, but putting this on solid ground pylons might stop this infernal bouncing on load, and just generally make me feel better about life at high gravity. Do I dare dream that with a well-chosen orbital supply drop, it could even be conceivable to strap some of these parts together to make a sky taxi?

    Time will tell, and it would appear that I have time and fuel in great supply, if nothing else.

    If you read all this, thanks for sharing the journey, and I hope you enjoyed!

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