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It's been a while. I return to the mission report subforums once again to finally document what has long been a goal of mine in KSP -- a fully functional Eve colony, done entirely in career mode. However, in light of the recent and final update to the game, I've decided to add a twist -- I'm going to do this almost entirely without mods (at least for now -- things might change as more mods get updated and we start running out of things to do in the stock game). I say "almost entirely without mods" because I will be using some mods, but none that significantly alter gameplay. My rule (for now) on mods is that everything I build and launch must be capable of being loaded and flown in an unmodded save -- so no parts mods, no changes to the physics of the game, and no major changes to the editor. UI and information mods, visual and cosmetic mods, and some small quality of life mods are all fine. You can see my full modlist (excluding dependencies and DLC) in the following collapsible. Most of this playthrough, including all of the Lilith Program missions, is being streamed over on my Twitch channel. I've already done quite a bit, including several Mun and Minmus landings, and I may end up making a supercut video of the important highlights. However, I wanted to wait until I actually started the Eve missions before posting this thread, and only the Eve program will be getting full mission reports here. We'll be starting with the Morningstar Initiative, which will be the initial probes and flyby of Eve. The writeup on that should be coming later this week, but if you don't want to wait, I'll be streaming it today and tomorrow.
So, I finally got around to sending a re-designed U.S.S. Enterprise to Eve. I realized that they key to ensure maximum science (and potential funds) gains was not to expand the station into one mega-craft, as I have already established it was too risky. No, the key was to send a fleet of as many ships as I could while the launch window was open. Here's a list of what I already sent so far. U.S.S. Enterprise --> crew of seven (3 scientists, 2 engineers, 2 pilots), buttload of fuel and science gear and relays, not designed for landing. 2 x "Weather Satellites" --> has surface scanners to check for ore deposits on both Eve and Gilly. Will put in polar orbits upon arrival. 1 x Gilly Lander --> 3-man lander (send unmanned), capable of landing on the Mun and Minmus and back, intended for Gilly. May be too large for Gilly, so set landing speed to 0.2 m/s. 1 x "Transfer Pod" --> crew capacity of seven (send unmanned), intended to get crew on and off other ships (has claw for smaller ships or the Enterprise. I may just leave the Enterprise in Eve orbit and send the crew back in the pod if I have enough fuel in the pod. WARNING: if I send the pod to Eve's surface, it's stuck there forever. 1 x "Eve Rover" --> crew capacity of 5 (unmanned), Mun rover modified for Eve re-entry and landing. Landing tests on Kerbin resulted in rover intact. Has drills and ore converters 1 x "Gilly Probe" --> small unmanned lander destined for Gilly. 1 x "Eve Surface Probe" --> unmanned probe with buttload of science meant for Eve. Do you think I'm missing anything? I already have relays at Eve, so I think I'm good coverage-wise.