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Kanawha Space Program - Year 6.1 - Transfer of Risk - Updated 2015-09-20 - Image Heavy

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I see you use mechjeb...

Nope. :) That doesn't mean the kerbals don't see me as some sort of cosmic MechJeb though. (Along those lines I may start experimenting with kOS in this save... I've been using it more and more for the precision or "no contact" stuff in RSS. But no MechJeb.... I enjoy flying too much.)

The dialog is coming. A stage must be built before the actors can perform.

On a side note it was AWESOME.

Thank you.

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Wow, finally I remembered to write something here!

I've been reading your missions report saga for the past month or something (on my iPod, hence no comments), and so far they've all had me hooked to the last word! I stumbled upon Ad Lunam completely by accident first (funny story about finding it), and hard-read it in about a week; My word, it was amazing. Then I found Null Cycles and enjoyed it just as much, and now this! Seriously man, KSP writing doesn't get much better than this. :kiss: I adore your craft designs, how you put regular parts of the game like Survey and Part Test contracts into the story so naturally, and all the conspiracy of the "Other" space programs. Never a dull moment! Absolutely amazing work.

You're even most of my inspiration for my own attempt at KSP mission report / fan-fiction writing, which I've been having a go at the last few days. Got a few ideas written down, a basic premise, and some cracker screenshots from a test mission.

Anyway, can't wait for the next instalment of Kanawha SP! Best of luck out there! :D

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Anyway, can't wait for the next instalment of Kanawha SP! Best of luck out there! :D

Thank you! These are often fun to write up, especially the weird little missions that crop up from time to time. (And the glitches.) Look forward to your Solar War series.

As for the next post in this series.... Maybe today, maybe Friday. Busy work week so far, following a busy holiday weekend. Funny how the older we get the busier our holidays become.

Thanks again.

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Thank you! These are often fun to write up, especially the weird little missions that crop up from time to time. (And the glitches.) Look forward to your Solar War series.

As for the next post in this series.... Maybe today, maybe Friday. Busy work week so far, following a busy holiday weekend. Funny how the older we get the busier our holidays become.

Thanks again.

Haha, awesome, I'll be waiting!

I'll admit I'm only 18 myself, but I've certainly been getting busier and busier the last year or two, so props to that.

Also, you can find the "practise" bit of my own story here: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/133842-A-KSP-Solar-War-Concept-Opinions-wanted%21

It'd be great if you could tell me what you think. :D

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Kanawha Space Program

Year 5 Update 5 - Above Eve

Ribzor was reading when Jeb and Bob's discussion started to drift into an argument. He missed the points of contention, his mind in the ceaselessly rainy jungles of a far off world when their discussion had first begun, so he couldn't say what exactly they were arguing over. It seemed to hinge over Jeb's flight to the North Pole and had something to do with robots and bubbles and Joolium. Shortly the two started threatening physical violence and Bill, the mission commander, came barreling into the cabin.

"Hey! Hey! What's all this noise back here?"

Bob pointed at Jeb. "He went inside the ship!"

"You said inspect the site! The ship _is_ the site!"

Bill closed his eyes and shook his head, raising his hands to calm them down. The motion only served to move him backwards slightly, and to send him into a slight tumble. "Slow down." He grabbed the nearest handhold and hooked one of his feet into a floor strap. "What ship? What site?"

Bob and Jeb answered in unison. "That's classified."

All three looked to Ribzor, who had velcro'd his book to the wall when the argument took a turn for the worse. "I can go for a walk if you want," waving his hand towards the airlock. What else could he do? What did they expect of him anyway? It was a simple tin can of a ship, with nowhere to hide if you needed a bit of privacy. Bob thought for a second and then continued.

"Bill, remember the black slab I sent you to check out on the Mün?"

"The one I had to walk 30 kilometers back from after he", Bill pointed at Ribzor and glared "wrecked the rover?"

"It's not my fault somebody disabled the brakes on the front wheels. And we were gonna pick you up." They ignored Ribzor. They always ignored Ribzor.

Bill shook his head. "No, wait. Did I wreck the rover? Doesn't matter. Anyway, how could I forget?"

Bob continued. "Well, there's a bunch of them scattered around Kerbin..."

"And Minmus," Jeb interjected.

"... and Minmus. And the Mün. And probably on every planet and body in the Kerbol system. The public thinks they're some neolithic artifact made by long dead kerbals, but we know differently. They're made out of a material we call Exorem. Can't be cut using conventional tools, can't be melted with anything colder than the Sun, can't be moved by impact or any force. The purest examples of the material, the monoliths, are ethereal and often let physical objects pass through them. No kerbal could have made them, now or in the past." Bob paused, hoping for questions but was met with only blank stares.

"So, there's this thing in the Arctic that's made out of a less pure form of the same material. Some crazed dog herder had stumbled on it and thought we might be interested. So me, Wernher and some other kid hiked halfway across nowhere to investigate. Wernher got a bit too close to it, and it took him. Changed him."

"Changed him? How?"

"It sucked him inside the ship. We tried to find a way in, to dig him out, but eventually he just, well, appeared. And he came out smarter than he went in. Much smarter, with lots of crazy ideas. Crazy ideas that worked. We kept him locked up for some time, not sure if he was sane. Not sure if he was still Wernher."

"Those two are mutually exclusive." Bob again ignored Ribzor.

"We had reason to believe somebody might have been tampering with the site..."

"What reason?"

"Those kerbals we've been rescuing? The ones from orbit? They're getting up there somehow, and my first thought was somebody else had started a space program. That perhaps sonebody else had gone inside the ship. So I sent Jeb to investigate. Told him what to look for and what NOT to do."

Bill turned to Jeb. "So you went inside? Are you insane!?"

"Yes. Probably. But it didn't hurt Wernher so I figured..."

"Have you met Wernher?"

"Yes, but..."

Ribzor spoke up again. "So why isn't Jeb smarter?" That time they heard him, and all three turned to glare at him, Jeb's face one of thinly veiled anger.

"I'm not sure. Wernher is a Scientist, and his scientific knowledge went off the charts after his encounter. Jeb's a pilot, so it would stand to reason that perhaps his piloting skills have likewise improved."

"Except he's done nothing but crash since he came back from that mission."

"I landed one of them safely. Mostly."

"It's possible the change has yet to manifest itself. Or maybe Jeb just wasn't what it was looking for. Anyway, the site looked to have been undisturbed, so we've ruled it out as an explanation for the stranded kerbals. If they're being launch from Kerbin it's not the result of some artificial super genius like Wernher. We're still going to catalog all known Exorem artifacts just to be safe."

"So," Jeb said, "it was aliens all along."

The cabin went silent for several minutes. Bill almost asked a question, even opened his mouth and started to vocalize it, then apparently decided against and went silently back to the other cabin. Bob turned to Ribzor.

"This conversation didn't happen."

"What conversation?"

"The one we just had?"

Ribzor grabbed his book from the wall and went back to reading about the bleaching jungle rains. "Don't know what you're talking about. I'm just reading a book." It was a long trip to Eve and the last thing he wanted was another weird borderline delusional conversation with any of the Original Three.


The Sumac 1 arrived at Dres, entered orbit, and started scanning for Ore. Nobody noticed.


Eve Arrival

The first ship in the flotilla to arrive in the Eve system was the Onepake 1, and for Jeb it came none too soon. Over the next several days he would be busy remote operating the other three ships in the fleet while Bill figured out the most efficient trajectories for making their orbit coplanar with Gilly's and set the nodes for their arrival. (Understanding that efficiency in teim is often just as important as efficiency in fuel.)

The first capture burn was performed in the dark, while the first of two alignment burns came up on the day side of Eve. Once those were done our intrepid crew was finally and officially in the Eve system.



Shortly after the Onepake came the Eve Research Station, now known as Weotowe 1. Bill wanted to use it as the measuring stick, and since the other two members of the fleet were a couple days out, he went ahead and had Jeb move it into its final, 1 million meter Gilly-inclined orbit.




The Holly 2 skirted the edges of the system next. Intended for a highly inclined, 20Mm orbit, getting it placed would take many münths worth of time. Jeb just made sure it was set up for its capture and in its desired inclination before he moved on to the hardware package. Most of its burns took place after the hardware package anyway.



The hardware package, including the Gilly Lander, the Holly 4 Eve lander probe, and the Holly 3 low-orbit communication relay, entered the system at an odd angle. At first Jeb was going to brute force it into its rendezvous with the station, but then Bill pointed out how much delta-V they could save if he instead kicked it into a higher orbit (beyond Gilly), and made the plane change there.

For once Jeb resisted his impulses and did the smart thing.



With the initial captures complete and the station where it was meant to be, Jeb moved on to rendezvousing all the important pieces. He was most interested in the rather more comfortable bunks in the Gilly lander, which might finally allow him some privacy. Or at the very least a bit of time away from Bob. Unfortunately that would come last, still being some 25 days out.

So the Onepake moved in first, docking up with the only remaining free docking port on the station. Bill transferred the last reserves of fuel from the station's drive section and jettisoned the empty stage to open up the other main docking port. It has now become the largest piece of new debris in the Eve system.

At least Jab and Bill would have some more room to spread out with a free Hitchhiker cabin all to themselves. Bob and Ribzor were busy studying the mysteries of the pinkish purple planet, and were fast on their way to completing the tech tree. "Just a bunch of tin cans in orbit around a nightmare world."



Yep, those science guys were real busy.


Real busy. I think they might've even moved once. Busy doing nothing.

Several days later the hardware package was broken open. The Holly 3 started off for its 1.5 million-meter orbit while the Holly 4 burned for its tryst with the purplish pink of Eve.




The lander's descent went perfectly, to almost everyone's surprise. Despite the searing heat and crushing atmosphere, the only damage it sustained was when the heatshield crumpled and exploded upon contact with Eve's surface.

The numbers the science instruments returned from the surface were curious, though often within the expected ranges. High pressures, high temperatures. Later reports from the researching investigating the data were the the big question mark. Temperatures ranging from "very cold" to "hot enough to boil water"? The boiling water part was accepted, but quite a few questions were asked regarding the sanity of the science teams when they considered 80 ºC to be "very cold."





With that bit of science done, the Gilly lander and its reservoir of fuel were moved into position for docking. The first trip out to Gilly would require them to shuffle things about at the station, but for now the lander would remain docked between its transfer stage / Fuel Can and the station.


Around this time Holly 3 entered into its final 1500km orbit. From here it would relay communications from the ground or lower orbits to the Holly 2 in its very high orbit, hopefully building a permanent communications link with Kerbin.



And with that, all the pieces of the Eve expedition were in place. Ribzor and Bob were already diving into many experiments aboard Weotowe 1, perhaps revealing the secrets of the universe. (Or more likely trying to figure out how the coffee machine worked.) Bill was going over the landing sites for Gilly while Jeb relaxed in the comfort of the very spacious and very quiet Gilly Lander.


"Why didn't they send a lander for Eve?" Jeb was only half paying attention as he flipped switched and pressed buttons to bring the Gilly Lander's autopilot online. He would be able to dock manually, but everything else had to go through the flight computer. Bill was helping him through the checklist while Bob and Ribzor transferred field equipment into the overhead compartments.

"They did. You were the one that landed it, remember?"

"No, no. Not a robot. A lander. For us." The flight computer groaned out a negative response which elicited a quick benchthump from Jeb. It beeped happily back an affirmative, perhaps afraid of future abuse. "Too many robots around here as it is."

"Oh." Bill flipped to the next page of the checklist and made a face. "I'd guess it has something to do with needing more delta-V to get back into Eve orbit than it does to escape the Kerbol System."

"Not if you do it right."

"Define right. No, don't bother. The simple truth is it'd be too expensive to recover anybody from the surface of Eve. Why bother? Wouldn't you much rather visit Jool? See if there's really oxygen and breathable air at Laythe? Or maybe even visit Eeloo?"

"I bet I could land this shuttlecraft on Eve. It looks kinda flight worthy." The flight computer whirred disapprovingly. "Kinda."

Bill squinted at the checklist and made another strange face. "Don't even think about it." Behind them Bob and Ribzor were getting strapped in. "You two ready to go back there?" Bob gave him the thumb's up, so Bill pulled the hatch closed and patted Jeb on the back. "Ok, let's get this show on the road."

"Roads? Where we're going we don't..." Jeb's voice was muffled by the checklist Bill shoved into his open mouth. "Mrrrn mmrrs."

It took a small bit of juggling for the Gilly lander to free itself. Still attached to its transfer stage via stack separator and an interstage, it needed to soft-undock, jettison the interstage so that it was clear, and move out of the way. Once clear Jeb moved the station to dock with the transfer stage turned fuel can. He was then free to punch in the numbers for their Gilly transfer and sit back and relax. It wasn't piloting, but it was better than spending another hour in the Tin Can.


And finally they were on their way to land on something.

"Are we there yet?"

"Jeb, you're the pilot. You tell us." Bill glanced over his shoulder to see Bob and Ribzor sound asleep. He could only shrug.

"See, that's the problem. I'm not the pilot. Robbie the Job Robber Robot is the pilot. Here to keep us safe from ourselves. Next they'll have robots doing a science or fixing flat tires. These Transit Authority clowns are trying to drive us out I tell ya."

"Seems to be working, too. Did you see the plans for that new SSTO?"

"The Grackle? Don't get me started on _that_ thing. What's the use if it only seats 4? That only lets them move one more kerbal to space versus the Keninsheka."

"Two more."


"Two, if you don't include the dead weight of the pilot."

Jeb gave Bill a dark look. "The airlock's right up there, bub."

"You know I'm kidding. Anyway, we've already gone over this. We knew there'd come a day when they'd done with us. Maybe not Gene and the Agency, I'm sure they'd always find something for willing kerbals to do, but the powers that be. The ones that really pull the strings. So we'll strike out on our own. Explore Kerbol despite them. Just like we talked about."

"That whole explorers society thing? Give me a break, Bill. You and I both know that was a silly idea for equally silly kids. Rich kids at that."

"Hey, you're the one that's almost out of a job. Me? I could transfer to the mining division today if I wanted to. They'll always need somebody to run a shaft down into the warm, supple folds of alien worlds, robbing them of their innocence."


"Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. There's going to be lots of us out of work soon, and I don't plan to stop doing what I'm doing. And we've got the funds to do it, I think. You've still got the junkyard, and Bob has some money saved up. Besides, we were promised Jool."

"And we'll get Jool. That's one promise they can't break."

"You sure?"

Jeb looked out the window at a crescent Eve, slinking its way into the firmament. He didn't have a good answer. Not now, perhaps not until they were back home and he could see for himself.

The required science collection and observation was performed while in space above Gilly, with Bob performing most of the early EVA work. Once the full capture burn was complete Ribzor took over the EVA duties, making sure they collected gravioli data from each of Gilly's biomes.



The descent to Gilly was riveting. As in, they were all four counting the rivets in the shuttlecraft during the descent. Multiple times. Jeb attempted to turn the craft towards the ground and accelerate, but the flight computer continually overrode him. Eventually he gave up and just relaxed. Zero rivets. Still zero rivets. Zero rivets again. Who came up with this game?

A few years hours minutes later and they were finally nearing the surface. Jeb flashed his Pilot's Union card in front of the flight computer and took charge. He wasn't completely sure, but he thought he could hear it laughing at him. Ignoring the checklist he flipped on the landing engines, flipped off the flight computer, and flipped open the RCS controls. It wasn't the friendliest of gestures, but it wasn't the friendliest of landing sites either.


Ten meters. The two tiny LV-01 engines fired, bringing the craft to a near hover. Jeb fired downwards with the RCS to get them moving again.

Five meters. Another burn from the LV-01s. Another push down from the RCS.

Two meters. Jeb was pretty sure something had touched the ship, a rock or a boulder, but they were still floating. The LV-01s fired again, bringing the ship to a mind-numbingly slow 1mm/s rate of descent.

Three meters. Ah, right. They bounced. Jeb disabled the engines then fired down hard with the RCS. A slight groan and a creak reverberated through the ship. He smiled when he saw no motion on the altimeter, jumped up, closed off the flight controls and grabbed his helmet. He was out of the airlock and nearly into orbit before anyone else was even unstrapped.



Jeb knew that folks back on Kerbin would be watching. There were cameras mounted in well hidden places around the lander, and even in the helmets of their EVA suits. He drifted down slowly into the soft dust, trying not to kick upwards as he landed, which might well launch him into a true orbit. He looked back to Bob, who was making his way around the outside of the lander and collecting science readings.

At a loss for words, he thought back to what he said when he first stepped on the Mün. "Hey! This is kinda fun!" Except it wasn't really all that much fun. If anything it was little different than being in orbit. The low gravity of Gilly made walking impossible, each step causing him to bound upwards several meters. So, still mute and having not yet delivered the first words from the surface of a body not around Kerbin, he turned to look at Bill (who was just exiting the lander) and shrugged.

"Well, here we are."

"Really? That's the best you could come up with?"

"We're here, aren't we? It's just as accurate as saying something about big steps and small landings. He looked around at the rocks and dust. "Well, it's no Eve, but it's not really like the Mün either. Lots of fines and dust and larger boulders. If anything it appears to be a big asteroid. Basically, a rock. In space. And we're here. Here we are. Here. Who brought the flag?"


The landing site was named Seeburry Heights after yet another famous Kerbal explorer. Following the flag planting ceremony, Ribzor and Bill set out to collect surface samples from the other to biomes. Ribzor took the much closer Midlands biome while Bill set out for the Lowlands. Bill, who seemed to think cartwheeling on Gilly was a good idea.



That wasn't enough to satisfy Bob though, so instead of leaving Seeburry Heights and burning directly into orbit, they instead hopped the lander to the Midlands biome and pulled data from the lander's various science instruments.


They spent a few more hours on the surface in the Gilly Lowlands, but ended the year by blasting off into Eve orbit. They wouldn't return to the Eve Research Station until early in the sixth year.




Kanawha Space Program

Year 5 In Review

Note: This was the first year to not witness a launch failure. Five new kerbals were recruited. One new launch vehicle was developed and placed into service.

Launches and Missions

[table=width: 100%, class: grid, align: left]


[td=width: 200]Mission ID[/td]

[td=width: 50]KSSTS[/td]

[td=width: 100]Crew[/td]

[td=width: 200]Launch Vehicle[/td]



[tr][td]3.0-NorComms-A[/td] [td]5-001[/td] [td][/td] [td]Finch[/td] [td]Tundra-orbit Comms.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]3.0-NorComms-B[/td] [td]5-002[/td] [td][/td] [td]Finch[/td] [td]Tundra-orbit Comms.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]NorPo Lab[/td] [td][/td] [td][/td] [td]Bluejay[/td] [td]Lab at North Pole.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]NorPo Hab[/td] [td][/td] [td][/td] [td]Bluejay[/td] [td]Habitat at North Pole.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]NP-TAS Hab[/td] [td][/td] [td][/td] [td]Bluejay[/td] [td]Habitat at North Pole Transfer Air Station.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]NorPo Rover[/td] [td][/td] [td][/td] [td]"Aircraft"[/td] [td]North Pole Rover.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]North Pole Research 1[/td][td][/td] [td]Edlu, Elley, Daselle, Ersen, Mind[/td][td]T-01a[/td] [td]First NP Research Mission.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]NP-TAS Fuel Station[/td][td][/td] [td][/td] [td]Robin[/td] [td]Mining and Fuel.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Void Eagle A-1[/td] [td]5-003[/td] [td][/td] [td]Cardinal[/td] [td]Asteroid Capture: SSD-577.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Void Egale A-2[/td] [td]5-004[/td] [td][/td] [td]Cardinal[/td] [td]Asteroid Capture: MWB-887.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Exploration 20 O3[/td] [td]5-005[/td] [td]Tribel, Agaselle[/td][td]Finch[/td] [td]Tourist Orbital.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]NP-TAS Fuel Rover[/td] [td][/td] [td][/td][td]Magic[/td] [td]North Pole fuel rover.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Keninsheka 5[/td] [td]5-006[/td] [td]Svetlana, Grazy, Lindra[/td][td]Robin[/td] [td]Science mission to MWB-887.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Tiskelwah 8[/td] [td]5-007[/td] [td]Urcella, Eriemma, Lindra[/td][td]Cardinal[/td] [td]Type-B direct ascent Mün; landed at Armstrong Monument.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Tokebeloke 4[/td] [td]5-008[/td] [td]Svetlana, Eriemma, Lindra[/td][td]Robin[/td] [td]Minmus; Landed at Mint Green Sound.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Eve Research Station 1[/td][td]5-009[/td][td][/td][td]Oriole[/td] [td]Weotowe 1.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Tokebeloke 5[/td] [td]5-010[/td] [td]Edlu, Ribzor, Jermin[/td][td]Robin[/td] [td]Minmus; Landed at Chading Flats.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Oak 6 - Sentinel[/td] [td]5-011[/td] [td][/td] [td]Robin[/td] [td]Sentinel Mission.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Eve Visitor Hardware 1[/td][td]5-012[/td][td][/td] [td]Oriole[/td] [td]Lander for Gilly; Probes for Eve.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Holly 3[/td] [td]5-012B[/td] [td][/td] [td]-[/td] [td]Low-Orbit commsat for Eve.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Holly 4 Lander[/td] [td]5-012C[/td] [td][/td] [td]-[/td] [td]Eve lander probe.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Onepake 1[/td] [td]5-013[/td] [td](empty launch); Jeb, Bill, Bob, Ribzor[/td][td]Oriole[/td] [td]First mission to Eve.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Keninsheka 6[/td] [td]5-014[/td] [td]Svetlana, Jeb (up), Bill (up)[/td][td]Robin[/td] [td]Crews for Onepake 1.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Keninsheka 7[/td] [td]5-015[/td] [td]Edlu, Bob (up), Ribzor (up)[/td][td]Robin[/td] [td]Crews for Onepake 1.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Keninsheka 8[/td] [td]5-016[/td] [td]Anre, Archibald, Daselle[/td][td]Robin[/td][td]Crew rotation for Piq2.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Keninsheka 9[/td] [td]5-017[/td] [td]Milbel, Kathta, Ersen[/td][td]Robin[/td][td]Crew rotation for Piq 2.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Holly 2[/td] [td]5-018[/td] [td][/td] [td]Finch[/td] [td]High orbit Eve commsat.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Tokebeloke 6[/td] [td]5-019[/td] [td]Urcella, Roster, Mind[/td][td]Robin[/td] [td]Minmus; Landed at North Pole.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Duna Research Station 1[/td][td]5-020[/td][td][/td] [td]Oriole[/td] [td]Seconee 1.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Duna Visitor Hardware 1[/td][td]5-021[/td][td][/td] [td]Oriole[/td] [td]Lander for Ike.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Redbud 2[/td] [td]5-022[/td] [td][/td] [td]Robin[/td] [td]Mapsat for Duna.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Cranberry 1[/td] [td]5-023[/td] [td][/td] [td]Robin[/td] [td]Mapsat for Ike.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Redbud 3[/td] [td]5-024[/td] [td][/td] [td]Robin[/td] [td]High-orbit commsat for Duna.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Redbud 4[/td] [td]5-025[/td] [td][/td] [td]Robin[/td] [td]High-orbit commsat for Duna.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Redbud 5[/td] [td]5-026[/td] [td][/td] [td]Robin[/td] [td]Lander probes for Duna.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Lakeweketon 1[/td] [td]5-027[/td] [td](empty launch); Val, Rama, Grazy, Lindra[/td][td]Oriole[/td][td]First mission to Duna.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Keninsheka 10[/td] [td]5-028[/td] [td]Svetlana, Rama (up), Grazy (up)[/td][td]Robin[/td] [td]Crews for Lake1.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Keninsheka 11[/td] [td]5-029[/td] [td]Urcella, Valentina (up), Lindra (up)[/td][td]Robin[/td] [td]Crews for Lake1.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]North Pole Research 2[/td][td] [/td] [td]Svetlana, Eriemma, Roster, Jermin[/td][td]T-01a[/td] [td]NP Expedition 2.[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Duna Visitor Hardware 2[/td][td]5-030[/td][td][/td] [td]Oriole[/td] [td]Lander for Duna.[/td][/tr]


Failed Missions and Issues of Note

  • NP-TAS Fuel Rover - Tires blow out during refuel of aircraft. Needs redesign or tolerance adjutment.
  • Holly 4 Lander - Heatshield destroyed by collision with Eve surface.
  • Tokebeloke 6 - Missed first Kerbin reentry and skipped off atmosphere.

Missions In-Progress

  • Onepake 1 - Jeb, Bill, Bob, Ribzor; At Eve.
  • Lakeweketon 1 - Val, Rama, Grazy, Lindra; Outbound for Duna.
  • NorPo 2 - Svetlana, Eriemma, Roster, Jermin; At Kerbin North Pole.
  • Keninsheka 8 - Anre, Archibald, Daselle; At Piquemetami 2.
  • Keninsheka 9 - Milbel, Kathta, Ersen; At Piquemetami 2.

Crew Roster

  • Jebediah Kerman, Pilot. 1 Flight. At Eve on Onepake 1.
  • Valentina Kerman, Pilot. 2 Flights. On Lakeweketon 1.
  • Bill Kerman, Engineer. 1 Flight. At Eve on Onepake 1.
  • Bob Kerman, Scientist. 1 Flight. At Eve on Onepake 1.
  • Grazy Kerman, Scientist. 2 Flights. On Lakeweketon 1.
  • Svetlana Kerman, Pilot. 4 Flights. At Kerbin North Pole.
  • Lindra Kerman, Scientist. 3 Flights. On Lakeweketon 1.
  • Ribzor Kerman, Scientist. 2 Flights. At Eve on Onepake 1.
  • Jermin Kerman, Engineer. 2 Flights. At Kerbin North Pole.
  • Rama Kerman, Engineer. 1 Flight. On Lakeweketon 1.
  • Urcella Kerman, Pilot. 3 Flights.
  • Mind Kerman, Engineer. 2 Flights.
  • Edlu Kerman, Pilot. 2 Flights.
  • Eriemma Kerman, Scientist. 2 Flights. At Kerbin North Pole.
  • Roster Kerman, Scientist. 2 Flights. At Kerbin North Pole.
  • Hereny Kerman, Scientist. Inactive.
  • Daselle Kerman, Scientist. 2 Flights. At Piquemetami 2.
  • Elley Kerman, Scientist. 1 Flight.
  • Ersen Kerman, Scientist. 2 Flights. At Piquemetami 2.
  • Anre Kerman, Pilot. Fresh Recruit. 1 Flight. At Piquemetami 2.
  • Archibald Kerman, Engineer. Fresh Recruit. 1 Flight. At Piquemetami 2.
  • Milbel Kerman, Pilot. Fresh Recruit. 1 Flight. At Piquemetami 2.
  • Kathta Kerman, Engineer. Fresh Recruit. 1 Flight. At Piquemetami 2.
  • Rosuki Kerman, Pilot. Fresh Recruit.

Active Launch Vehicles

[table=class: grid, align: left]


[td=width: 200]Launch Vehicle[/td]

[td=width: 100]Lift-Off Payload Mass[/td]

[td=width: 100]Orbital Payload Mass[/td]

[td=width: 100]Attempts[/td]

[td=width: 100]Successes[/td]


[tr][td]LV-05 Finch[/td] [td]8.9t[/td][td]3.2t[/td] [td]4[/td][td]4[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]LV-21 Bluejay[/td] [td]25.5t[/td][td]5.4t[/td] [td]3[/td][td]3[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]LV-22 Robin[/td] [td]47t[/td][td]17.1t[/td] [td]17[/td][td]17[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]LV-23 Cardinal[/td] [td]43.0t[/td][td]43.6t[/td] [td]3[/td][td]3[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]LV-24 Oriole[/td] [td]85.0t[/td][td]85.0t[/td] [td]7[/td][td]7[/td][/tr]


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I love this series.

Thank you!

Year 6 will be along sometime this week, at least the first part of it. I'm going to try to get through all of the Year 6 stuff in KSP v1.0.4, which includes the operations at Duna and some other stuff back at Kerbin. Maybe 3 updates total there, maybe 4 depending on how busy Duna looks. After that, things will likely slow down for a little while. It's the busy season again, and my mostly unscheduled real world distractions have suddenly inked themselves into my calendar. A short trip over to Louisiana the first weekend of October (meaning I'll miss opening weekend of The Martian... boo... but I've already read the book so I'm not overly concerned about spoilers), plus I'm off East again for most of November and Thanksgiving (which will hopefully include a trip up to the main Air and Space Museum while I'm in Maryland... I hit Udvar Hazy last year). It's also football season, and our local baseball team is acting like they might want to make another World Series run... maybe.

So don't be surprised if I disappear in early October and don't show up again until December. It won't be because I've forgotten about you folks. :)

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Very nice series. You're pinned in my browser now :)

Thank you. I keep hoping Chrome on my phone will decide I've read this thread enough that it'll float up on my Top Sites list and save me from pinning it... no luck yet - it still thinks Ad Lunam is what I want to see.

This could be interesting with the new aerodynamics and reentry heat. But I'm sure you'll find a way and I can't wait to see it.

Interesting is a good word for it. I've been able to refine it down to a working design and a working ascent profile over many, many tests. Didn't kill 110 kerbals this time like I did when I first started experimenting with SSTO spaceplanes (as the Grackle doesn't use a kerbal pilot), but it wasn't without major failures and random explosions. I had already proven my older, pre-release SSTO designs didn't work (earlier in this thread) so I knew I was in for some work. It ended up not being too tough, but I had to unlearn everything before I could relearn the right way.

And getting 4 kerbals to orbit in a "small" spaceplane is nowhere near as easy as a single-kerbal SSTO.

Here's a sneak preview from the next update, which should get posted later today barring any unforeseen onsets of Software, Inc (an entirely too addictive early-access code-monkey dollhouse simulator):


Edited by Cydonian Monk
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Kanawha Space Program

Year 6 Update 1 - Transfer of Risk

"Thank you for coming. Today we'd like to discuss plans for the upcoming year." Gene, Wernher, Mortimer and a couple other kerbals were already on stage when Edlu slipped into the press room. Gene in his usual position behind the podium, the others sitting impatiently off to the right. It was a full house, standing room only, and almost every journalist with a tech column or news segment was at the Cape. These early year planning meetings had become something of a must attend event. Mortimer had even joked about selling tickets. Edlu found a smooth leaning spot on the back wall just as Gene started into the introductions.

"To my left we have Dr. Wernher von Kerman, Chief of Research and Design and no stranger to any of you. Next our chief accountant Mortimer Kerman, followed by the head of our newest division, Elger Kerman Chief of Navigation. And finally Harler Kerman, our new representative from the Transit Authority." He paused after each name to let the honored kerbal wave, smile or nod to address the gathered masses. "And of course you know who I am, Gene Kerman, Chief of Flight Operations.

"Year Six will be our busiest yet. Our crews at Eve have completed their first Gilly landing and have enough fuel for a second. The Duna Expedition is due to arrive in one hundred and sixty days, and this year we will complete construction of our second station in Münar orbit, Pequoni 2. And finally, towards the end of the year we will launch the first presupply mission for the Jool Expedition." Gene flipped to the next page, restacked his notes, and took a drink of water before continuing.

"This year will also see transportation of crews turned over to the newly formed Navigation Division. Working with the Transit Authority they will jointly operate the first of many Transfer Stations built in Low-Kerbin Orbit and provide regular service using an automated network of shuttlecraft. Elger and Harler will give you the details later in the briefing. Any questions so far?"

A few journalists asked broad questions about the new relationship between with the Transit Authority, each of which received the same boilerplate answer. Edlu listened while they ran through the simple questions, hoping his question, or rather Jeb's question, would be answered without being asked. It wasn't. Gene made one final round before he moved the discussion to Wernher, so Edlu spoke up.

"Could you address the concerns of the pilot's union regarding the increasing use of automated transports?"

Gene cleared his throat. "Presumably you're referring to the concerns raised by Jebediah that our pilots will soon be out of work. Correct?"

"Correct. The union wants to ensure we still have a place in this brave new robot world."

"Very well. Prior to end of last year the Agency employed no more than five pilots. Yourself, Jebediah, Valentina, Svetlana, and Urcella. Anre, Milbel and Rosuki bring us to eight. Five of you are presently deployed, two on long-duration missions to other planets, two in training at Piquemetami 2, and the fifth at the North Pole. Early next year two more will head out to Eve and Duna, while a third will accompany Jebediah on the first Jool Expedition. When that happens, all five of our Veteran pilots will be engaged in long-duration missions off-world. Two more will head out with the second round of Jool missions and another still with the third Eve mission.

"Our's and the Transit Authority's choice to use automated transports is not because we want to replace our pilots with robots, but because we need our pilots for more specialized tasks. Highly-trained astronauts shouldn't be ferrying crews to the North Pole. Does that answer your question?"

Edlu nodded, thanked Gene for his response and started for the exit. Wernher was about to take the podium when one of the other kerbals on stage grabbed the mic first.

"Actually, I'd like to address the point further." It was Harler Kerman, the well-dressed representative from the Transit Authority. Everyone in the press room glanced at Edlu, anchoring him in the room of vultures just seconds before his escape. He motioned for Harler to continue. "Thank you. I'd like to highlight specific reasons we decided to utilize the Probodobodyne cores for our Grackle OT-2 and Shuttlecraft One designs." Harler pulled a slideshow clicker from his pocket and pressed aggressively. "This," an image of a jet with melted intakes appeared, "is the work of the Pilot's Union." He clicked again. "As is this," wreckage, scattered across the top of K2. Another click. "And this," more debris, this time atop Jeb's Folly. "And this," debris, floating in the ocean. "I could go on, but the rest of these slides are the same. Do you," he motioned towards Edlu, "do you happen to know know how much these incidents cost your program?"

Edlu shook his head.

"I'm sure Mortimer could enlighten us. Mort?"

The elderly kerbal thought for a few seconds and then croaked out a number. "Three or maybe four hundred thousand Roots."

"Four. Hundred. Thousand. Roots. Now, I'm no accountant, but that sounds like a lot of money. And each of these incidents was the work of only one of your pilots. I'm also not the diplomat Gene is, so I'll be blunt. Pilots are dangerous. We're lucky that so far the carelessness of your 'union' hasn't killed anyone. Yet."

The room was as silent as a tomb, all eyes back on Edlu. He waved the slideshow away and motioned to Wernher. "Ask the doc. Those were all experimental craft operating at the edges of their envelope. Could've happened to anyone. Could've happened to you."

"A convenient excuse. Each of these incidents occurred because the pilot in question was operating outside his mission parameters. Probe cores aren't reckless. They don't take needless risks. They don't push the edges. They stick to the plan. The same flight every time. If we're to become the masters of space, if the cosmos is to be ours, we _must_ turn the extraordinary into the ordinary. We must cut out the impulses of our pilots. We _must_ reduce the risk."

"Risk?" Edlu laughed. He hadn't signed up for this, he was just here to ask a simple question: Would he still have a job next münth? He glanced around the briefing room, meeting the occasional eye, everyone waiting for his response. What had that simple promise to Jeb gotten him into? Certainly no way to back down now.

"Risk. What do _you_ know of risk? We go out there, every day, every single day, and fly around in aircraft that are held together with dreams and duct tape. Some crazy idea that we need to test because, if we don't, folks like you end up dead. If we weren't out there pushing the limits, if we were just following the program like your little toys, then we'd never know where the limits were." He pushed the door open and pointed down the hall. "Now if you'll excuse me I need to go strap myself to a rocket and visit this risk you seem to know so well."

The briefing room exploded into a cacophony of noise and camera shutters behind him. Edlu had just given the press the soundbyte of the century, and may have just sealed the fate of every pilot that would ever live.

Flight of the Grackles

SSTO spaceplanes in the new v1.0.4 universe may not be as easy as they were in the past, but they're far from impossible. Previous flights had proven that jet/rocket combinations would work, but needed to be tuned precisely in order to reach orbit. Unfortunately none of those combinations ended up with anything that could be described as having extra payload capacity, so it was back to the drawing board.

After running the numbers it was decided the new RAPIER engine had the best potential for building an orbital spaceplane, though not when used in their typical combination. Very early test flights had shown twin RAPIERS to be insufficient to pull the desired mass into the higher atmosphere (labeled the OT-2), and a RAPIER with two TurboRamJets (the OT-2a) still insufficient in hypersonic flight to push through the rest of the atmosphere. So the designers settled on using three RAPIERs.




At liftoff all three engines are in air-breathing mode, and are all three running. Once the craft is above 16km or so, the middle engine switches off so as to not starve the two outboard engines. By this point the craft must be going at least Mach 2 for the two remaining engines to have enough thrust to complete the ascent. The craft then levels off around 20km until it has achieved its max speed. The center engine is then reignited in closed-cycle mode. The two outboard engines are allowed to flame-out but remain in air-breathing mode. They are no longer needed.

This ascent profile and combination of engines has proven to be capable of placing the OT-2 craft into at least an 80km orbit with fuel left over for the return. By now its skin is glowing a bright red color and the air is a constant stream of plasma behind it, but the atmosphere thins out quickly above 22km and the plasma disappears completely above 35km (or so). The nose and other leading edges of the craft are very, very warm, so it's not advisable to dock with anything until they cool of a bit. The flush-mounted radiator on the top of the craft helps a little.


The first official orbital test flight of the OT-2 Grackle was the Grackle 1, and it used the OT-2b variant of the craft. This was an uncrewed flight, operated remotely and buy the flight computer. This flight reached a stable orbit in excess of 75km by 82km, but was not as efficient in its ascent as hoped, leaving its supply of liquid fuel nearly exhausted. After less than one orbit the RCS was used to complete the reentry burn, targeting a spot in the ocean just offshore from KSC.




Reentry is a dangerous thing, requiring constant rolls and shuffling to prevent any one part from becoming too hot. The nosecone of the Grackle 1, still warm from the ascent, was not happy with the reentry, but survived and didn't collapse into a glowing ball of molten spaceplane parts.



The reeentry plans failed to take into account the lift from the craft, and overshot the intended landing site by many tens of kilometers. When the overshoot became obvious the craft was banked to the North in the hopes of ditching on landmass if unable to land at KSC. Indecision as to whether or not the craft had enough fuel to return to KSC became moot when it briefly stalled and lost 5km of altitude before the flight computer was able to regain control of the craft.

Several of the small tweaks made in preparing the OT-2b for orbit produced an airframe that was incapable of stable light while the craft was nearly empty. Despite fuel being pumped into the forward tanks to account for the imbalance, the damage had been done. Now out of range of all land masses, the Grackle 1 was forced to ditch into the ocean. It did make a rather valiant effort to reach land, but was ultimately short of both fuel and stable lift.



Following the mostly successful flight of the OT-2b with the Grackle 1, and with the required modifications made, the design was blessed with the coveted "Safe for Kerbal Use" rating. Those modifications being a slight tweak in where the wings were mounted to the rest of the airframe and a complete rearrangement of where the crew cabin was posistioned. Naturally this required an entirely new round of airframe tests before the craft could safely launch.

Dix days later the new variant was ready for flight. Kerbals work fast. 3D printed rapid-prototyping and whatnot.

The second orbital flight and the first for the OT-2c variant, Grackle 2, would also be the first to carry a crew back form space. The plan was to send the Grackle 2 up to Piquemetami 2 and return with the three remaining kerbals still training at the station. (Keninsheka 8 would return on its own with Anre, Archibald, and Kathta, mostly to free a docking port for the Grackle.) The Keninsheka 9 capsule would be left at the station for use in emergencies.

(The Grackle 2 docked at Piquemetami Station really drives home exactly how small that place is.... and how big SSTO spaceplanes are.)




The ascent to the station went exactly according to plan. Shortly after the craft docked, however, ground controllers received three different distress calls from three different kerbals stranded in orbit: Trizie, Rodrien, and Tamara. So, instead of returning to KSC with the crew of the Piquemetami 2, the Grackle 2 borrowed fuel from the station and set out to find these wayward kerbals.



With all three kerbals aboard, the Grackle 2 burned for reentry. More care was taken this time to ensure the reentry would brin them down close to or short of KSC. The Grackle 2 had less of a margin for error compared to the earlier flight, thanks to being very nearly fuel depleted. The nighttime reentry provided quite the light show for kerbals on the ground and the three aboard.

In the end the Grackle 2 had just enough fuel and momentum to carry it over K2 and into the grasslands beyond. A recovery bus was sent out to pick up the three rescuees, and the Grackle itself was refueled and flown back to KSC.




Transfer One

Trips to Piquemetami 2 and other small stations in Kerbin orbit were never intended to be the destination of the OT-2 Grackle series of spaceplanes. Designed from the beginning as the first leg in a journey, the next step was to build the first of the Transfer Stations. Designed to be a mooring and refueling point in Low Kerbin Orbit, the Transfer Stations would include four long docking arms, at least one Big Orange Tank worth of fuel, a cupola for viewing Kerbin, and accommodations for up to 40 kerbals.

Officially a part of the Navigation Division of the space program, Transfer One and all subsequent such stations would be operated under the auspices of the Transit Authority. They would also fly the Navigation flag, a particular sore spot with the Pilot's Union as it historically has served as their logo.


The first of these stations was placed into orbit over a series of four launches. First up was the habitat and core module. Launched atop a Cardinal booster left over from the Tiskelwah Heavy Mün landing program, the Transfer One A saw a perfect ascent. After circularizing at 80km, the orbital stage was deorbited. (With all the debris currently in orbit any reduction in the number of large, dangerous things moving at 2300m/s helps.)



Next up came the "tunnels" for the station. To allow room for large vessels such as the Grackle to dock at the station, it's important for the docking nodes to be spread at least one wingspan apart. Additionally, the solar arrays and other delicate equipment need to be far enough out that RCS blasts or errant kerbals or bad docking attempts don't accidentally bump into them.

The solution were these six tunnels. (Officially these parts aren't crew accessible, but I see no reason why they shouldn't be a hollowed out tube. Back when I used to play with Connected Living Spaces I would update the config to include these files.) The ascent of this second launch was a bit on the shallow side, but the payload made it to orbit safely.



Arranged around a central node, the six tunnel segments were installed by the spacecraft itself. Ultimately this proved to be a bad idea, as tolerances were too tight to safely slip each tunnel segment into place. Still, it saved sending up a construction bot for this step of the construction. This was a slow process that took two orbits to complete.

Once all four of the radial docking arms were installed the other two were placed at the top of the station. With that complete the orbital stage was sent to its fiery grave.



Next up were the solar arrays. These armatures were developed to use the relatively (but not completely) new Gigantor XLs, providing more power than this station will ever need. The spacecraft this time was my usual wishbone-shaped solar array probe with a small construction bot in the middle. Amongst the mess was the "brain" for Transfer One, which would be docked at the end of the long tunnel at the top of the station. This would serve as the docking node for the Fuel Cans as well as the base for the solar array armatures and the light brackets that were sent up on a later flight.




The Fuel Can launch was the most important part of the station. Grackles could comfortably reach orbit if they didn't need to worry about keeping enough fuel to get back to KSC, and any shuttles operating out of the Transfer stations would need to refuel between trips to Minmus or the Mün. Built around the Big Orange Tank, this now standard size fuel can also included more monoprop than most spacecraft will ever need.

This payload was a bit more than the Cardinal launch vehicle could handle, so a few SRBs were dug out of storage and strapped to the sides. They provided just enough kick for the craft to get airborne, and then were dropped onto the unsuspecting kerbals below.



With the Fuel Can docked, the principal construction of Transfer One was complete. It was later decided that, to facilitate night time operations, two lighting brackets would be sent up and placed into the two empty solar array sockets at the top of the station. These lights also included a series of cameras, providing amazing views of the station and Kerbin below it. (I would later detach the cameras, as I'm gravitating more and more to 100% stock only parts.)

The light brackets were small enough that they only needed a small Vireo solid-fuel launch vehicle.


One of the light brackets served as the construction bot (both were supposed to have a probe core... ask me about symmetry glitches sometime). Since both were extended a good distance from the core of the station, they included RCS to assist with station maneuvering, also making it easy to install them.


The lights also include an optional green glow mode. Because, green.


Commercial, Reusable Mün Landings

With the station construction complete and the Grackle tested and certified, it was time to use the network as it was intended. First up: two Mün landings. The Tiskelwah 9 and Tiskelwah 10 mission would both launch aboard a Grackle, stop at Transfer One and transfer to the Mün using a standard shuttlecraft. They would then rendezvous with Pequoni 1, await the arrival of the first in a series of reusable Mün landers, and then proceed with their missions to the Farside crater.

Officially referred to as 'Type J' Mün Landing, this would be the first trip to the Mün to not launch with its lander. While the other types of Mün missions had not been officially cancelled, there was increasing doubt as to their efficacy. Why not make use of a reusable system? Especially when it reduced operating costs dramatically.

And so the Grackle 3 made its way to orbit with the first four passengers: Rosuki, Hereny, Elley and Archibald Kerman. Rosuki and Elley, both rescues, would head to the middle of the Farside Crater to perform sampling and other science experiments, as well as proofing for the Mining Division. Later Hereny and Archibald would land as part of the Tiskelwah 10, a mission which would explore the northern end of the Farside Crater in a yet to be launched rover.

The Grackle 3 made use of the same OT-2c Grackle as the Grackle 2 mission, just refueled and refitted between launches. The ascent was nearly perfect, with no major incidents or hiccups. They approached Transfer One three-quarters of an orbit later and started into a very slow docking procedure. (Much, much slower than any of the "risky" pilots would ever attempt.)




Once docked with Transfer One the crew had to wait for the next piece of the puzzle to launch: Shuttlecraft K-1. They also got to perform the initial clean-up and setup duties as the first kerbals to ever visit the station. Rosuki reported a strange, "new station smell" that none of the others could detect. Mission control almost ordered an abort when she finally admitted it had been a joke. A joke that was apparently lost on everyone else in existence.




Shuttlecraft K-1 was not the first of its kind, but it would be the first intended to remain in the Kerbin System. Based on the design of the Gilly Lander, the Shuttlecraft One design featured the same passenger capacity (four) with a better operating range (no landing or science equipment to save on mass). Cheap to build and cheap to launch, these shuttles would soon become the most populous craft in Low Kerbin Orbit.

Yet for now there is just the one, and a few days after the Grackle arrived at Transfer One it was launched to meet them. A completely perfect launch brought to you by the power of robots (and the steady hand of its well-practiced human operator located some million light years across the universe).




The four Mün-bound kerbals were ready and eager to move into the shuttle the instant it arrived. In no time at all they had loaded up their mission cargo, locked up Transfer One, and had the shuttle's flight computer plot a transfer and capture burn to meet up with Pequoni 1 in low Mün orbit.



At some point during the trip Archibald thought up a great story. Equal parts bravado and ghost story, it managed to both fortify the crew for their mission and terrify them utterly. The slightest noise or gust of air and they would jump out of their seats and start screaming. Even Archibald was more than a bit spooked by it, a feeling that didn't dissipate until they had been aboard Pequoni 1 for several hours. Later, when the crew was asked about the details of this story, they would only shake their heads and insist it must never be repeated.


And they arrived at Pequoni 1 safe and sound despite the terror of the trip out. The docking left a bit to be desired, as they were orbiting directly into the sun with Pequoni 1 silhouetted against the blinding light of Kerbol. Nothing the computer couldn't handle, of course, having now been upgraded to allow for precision docking.

And again they had to wait for the next piece of their puzzle to be launched. At least this time they could relax and enjoy the views of the Münscape below them. The dusty, scary Mün with its dark craters and depressingly infectious desolation. And, if Archibald's story was to be believed, living, skittering rocks that would crawl inside of your head while you slept and slowly turn you into a clone of Mortimer.


The Mün lander itself was a rehash of an earlier design. Originally intended to be used with the Type-F landings, this was well-tested technology that had been rotting in a box in the back of the VAB for several years now. Launching it without the rest of the Tiskelwah Heavy stack meant they could use the much smaller Robin to deliver it to orbit and the Mün. And, exactly as written on the tin, the robot probe core delivered Mün Lander Alpha to Kerbin Orbit, transferred to the Mün, and docked up with Pequoni 1 without failure, without risk, and most importantly on-time.




The crew robbed the lander's transfer stage of its fuel before they cast it off to become yet more debris. While they expected a new Fuel Can to arrive later during the mission, they saw no reason to waste the fuel. With the station-keeping taken care of, Rosuki and Elley moved their kit into the lander and officially began Tiskelwah 9's descent to the Farside Crater.




The trip to the surface was followed closely by dozens, or possibly even hundreds of kerbals back at home. This certainly wasn't the first time kerbals had landed on the Mün, but it was the first time they had landed in a ship not owned by the space agency that sent them their.

Rosuki and Elley meanwhile were as calm as any kerbals every observed. Records later released by the agency showed their heart rates and breathing were abnormally calm compared to other first-time Münwalkers. Even Jeb had been more worked up during his first landing than either of these two, perhaps because Jeb was always worked up, but his numbers were abnormal even for him. Not Rosuki and Elley. One might even think they had done this before. Clearly Archibald's story had worked.




Quite a few more tuned into the broadcast once the landing had been reported as successful. Replays from the lander's external cameras were already trending amongst the more space-geek oriented news agencies, and those watching were eagerly awaiting the first steps made by Kerbalkind on the regolith of the Farside Crater. They were not kept waiting long, and Rosuki was soon seen bounding playfully across the surface in her EVA suit.


Once the basic science gathering and resource proofing had been completed, Elley joined Rosuki on the surface for the flag ceremony. Elley produced a plaque from a small storage compartment on the outside of the lander, and named the site of their landing "Jonbald's Rim" in honor of the great explorer Jonbald Kerman, famous for having conducted an extensive exploration of the Island of the Mün in the early days of sail.

This was a surprise to many, Jonbald Kerman at the GNC desk in Mission Control included. Some suspected he had hacked the list of named sites to include himself, even going so far as to suggest he edited encyclopedia entries to invent this explorer Jonbald. He could only deny it, and even went so far as to suggest renaming the site. "That's clearly not the Rim of anything. Crater, rover wheel, or otherwise."

Rosuki was also caught a bit off guard, and motioned for Elley to switch to the private suit-to-suit radio band. They turned away from the camera and talked for several minutes, with Rosuki pointing towards the distant crater rim and making similar gestures. Urcella, working as CAPCOM, attempted to contact them multiple times to remind them that half of the planet was watching. Reminders that were received (multiplex receivers in the suits allow the crews to listen to multiple frequencies simultaneously) yet completely ignored.

Once their private moment was complete, they turned back to the camera, returned their suit transmitters to the common band, and continued with the flag ceremony. Jonbald's Rim it was.


Countless kerbals had tuned in, watching with joy and hopeful ambition as two of heir own kind planted a crude flag into the loose, dark dust. The strange moment of silence had passed by the masses without notice. No, the masses were interested more in how they had made it to the Mün than they were by what they were doing there. That kerbals had travelled on craft designed and operated so as to allow ordinary, non-astronaut folk to follow in their footsteps was not lost on the audience.

The unmoving seas had parted. The black beyond the clouds was no longer out of reach. Democratization had come to space travel, surely the stars themselves would soon be within reach. The future itself had arrived, borne on the back of a beast made of sand and gold.

Tiskelwah 9 - The Video Edition

Incidentally there's a companion video to go along with the Tiskelwah 9 mission. I had been experimenting with Open Broadcaster Software for recording RSS missions shortly before Tiskelwah 9 came up on the docket, so I decided to record the whole thing. At the same time I was playing around with Enhanced IVA and was rather pleased with the results, so I found a nice classical piece to set it to and snipped it down to fit.

This won't be a regular thing, as my set up really isn't made for video editing. (Not to mention the time involved with the editing itself.) I've decided to wait until KSP v1.1 and Unity 5 hit before I attempt to record any more videos, in the hopes that the game's very severe stuttering problem is resolved. Probably half the time I spent editing that video was on removing the stuttered frames. I'll still record the occasional thing even if they don't go away, but I might look into writing a script to automatically detect and remove the stuttered frames from the video. Or find editing software that does it for me.

Next time we'll cover the Pequoni 2 construction, the second of these reusable Mün landings, and everything else up to the Duna Arrivals. Those will be in the third update, and possibly the fourth.


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that guy from Transit Authority was lucky it was Edlu who he was addressing rather then Jeb. Pilots Union ftw :D

PS: I was following this from the beginning but I just didn't have anything smart to say.

PS2: Thanks for keeping my inspiration to play more :)

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I absolutely love space programs built on SSTOs. GJ!

Thanks. More SSTOs are likely as I get the presupply mission ready for Jool.... and Laythe.

I this a reference to Soyuz 21 and Salyut 5 or was it unintentional?

Any similarity between real or imaginary stations is pure coincidence and not intentional in the slightest. Also, I'm not sure I'd count a Nitric Acid cloud as a "New Station Smell." And Salyut 5 wasn't the only (or the first) station where the crew reported a strange smell - Soyuz 11 reported a burning smell when they first arrived at Salyut 1, and it eventually became a full-blown electrical fire. I vaguely recall they had to vent Salyut 1 completely and refill it from their own supplies before they could enter. (Or maybe that was another screwed up Russian station... Edit - Yep, that was Soyuz 24 and Salyut 5, cleaning up after Soyuz 21.) The whole Salyut 1 station and related missions were one big disaster.

PS2: Thanks for keeping my inspiration to play more :)

Most welcome. :)

Edited by Cydonian Monk
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