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The Elcano Challenge: Ground-Based Circumnavigation (4th)

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On 5/6/2022 at 3:23 AM, Jack Joseph Kerman said:

Smaller is usually better in this challenge

What's that so you're saying if I launch a fleet of 250+ ton and 350+ ton ships and supporting patrol craft and reconnaissance planes, I might want to reconsider?


You can't stop me!

No okay but I really like the idea of doing this with a fleet. I'm assuming I'd be allowed to use AI on the escorts so long as the main one is guided manually? I was thinking of launching a large supply ship with ISRU capabilities, which I would steer myself, and then have maybe two or four other ships running with commands.

I'm eyeballing the green diamond route. It's longer and it looks like there's hills in the way, but I could use the planes to scout around for a flatter route nearby, and the scenery is far more varied than the northern one.

Unfortunately I currently have zero ships that could make this trip; the biggest have around 90k ΔV but I have no idea what sort of range that translates to (I guess I'll find out ha ha). I also don't have seaplanes...(I ain't lugging an aircraft carrier over land, those things would easily break 1000 tons).

Hm....I'll need to draw some doodles...



Escort boats.


Edited by Earthlinger
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So...the mining vehicle is problematic. Initially I was thinking of making reusable rockets that can launch from the supply ship and target nearby areas with high ore concentrations. They could be these cool suicide-burning VTOL things that fill up, take off again and splash down into the sea to get picked up. But the thing is, ore is heavy, and it sinks, and I'm not sure how much it would take to keep a massive, fully-loaded ore vehicle afloat. Because these things would be big. Unless I want to accept a painful amount of back and forth, the vehicle would need to be able to bring in enough ore for some 750 tons of fuel, in two or three trips only, ideally (although I was thinking of having multiple vehicles...).

It would be a big rocket, and bigger with the extra stuff to make it float. The transport ship wouldn't be able to carry it unless I made it massive, and I can't feasibly do that because it would also need to traverse a chunk of land at one point.

I might as well just make the ore things boats.


Wait a minute -

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, damerell said:

Silly question, but for Kerbin couldn't you just drive it out of the SPH?

yes, but my goal is
- full stock

- electric propulsion only (wheels and rotor)
- 50m/s minimum in rover configuration (void) and 35m/s minimum on water
- adapted for all planets
- transported from planet to planet with a single vessel (without nuclear or ion) in the whole system (so the challenge would be finished with eve ... cause it seems delicate to come back from there with the rover)

so this way i plan only one launch ;)

im crazy... 1/4 of kerbin done today ^^


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My main objective is a failure (really?lol) : the rocket doesn't have enough dv to go reffuel, well, yes it has the theoretical dv but I severely underestimated the rover's drag. I'm a bit disappointed as I have a similar craft with the same dv that goes well (with 32 wheels exposed to drag but no rotor or blade). so maybe it's just the drag of those rotors/blades that is problematic.

I would have done better to listen @damerell comment ! xD

Anyway, the secondary objective is still possible! since the rover is waiting near the launchpad after its polar circumnavigation of kerbin (yes my first one!): only 1 rover, only 1 transfer vehicle (2 launches instead of one planned...)

around 5d1h35 IGT for KSC, Npole (exact), Anti-KSC (approx), Spole (exact), KSC. (mostly grounded but crossed the "indian ocean" of kerbin at the end)




Edited by Pouicpouic
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Step 2 minmus done - polar circumnavigation mostly grounded xD - in approx 2h25 IGT


- lost kerbnet access during 5/10min -

?imw=5000&imh=5000&ima=fit&impolicy=Lettsome serious speed never reached before on minmus : >70m/s on the first attempt, but lost the rover ^^I definitely can't drive at night... arround 57.5m/s on flat, this rover is finally better than expected : it promises to be really great on the mun and vall --> What is your bet for my maximum speed? >100m/s on vall yes but i think I can do much better ;)

Edited by Pouicpouic
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1 hour ago, Pouicpouic said:

I definitely can't drive at night...

My experience driving at night was that crashes happen more frequently.  I generally try to drive during daylight.  

1 hour ago, Pouicpouic said:

What is your bet for my maximum speed?

The rover wheels you are using will only go about 58 m/s on flat ground.  I suspect you will be surprised at how fast you can go at Eve using the propellers for propulsion though!  Propellers work extremely well at Eve.

Nice job at Kerbin and Minmus!  I'll add you to the leaderboards.

Please show a few screenshots of your transfer vehicle some time.  (The rocket that takes your vehicle to other moons or planets..)


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51 minutes ago, 18Watt said:

Nice job at Kerbin and Minmus!  I'll add you to the leaderboards.

Thanks, I'm having fun so far and I think it will continue until Laythe (I'm getting ready to let KSP run during my nap) --> Thanks to you for reviving this challenge!

50 minutes ago, 18Watt said:

 I suspect you will be surprised at how fast you can go at Eve using the propellers for propulsion though

Tested on eve without worries up to 70m/s but I didn't dare to push further... but I bet on Vall anyway for the absolute record.

1 hour ago, 18Watt said:

Please show a few screenshots of your transfer vehicle some time.  (The rocket that takes your vehicle to other moons or planets..)

It will be done soon! Well... now in fact, go, go ! xD



I don't use KER, mechjeb or anything so I've had varying results of + or - 300m/s to orbit the 1st craft... the perfect ascent profile with such a drag is quite unusual. So I suspect my 1st craft can succeed but it's definitely wiser with the second one (same architecture overall, 2 extra vectors because my twr was very low initially) (1.1 up to 1.33 from memory)

Now it's clearly oversized to do the job... i know, but remember : career, no mods, no nuclear, no ion, one stage, every landing, KSC-->minmus, and also Laythe ground-->pol. Very high risk of burning in eve, but with such a dv it is surely possible in several attempts, well, i'm not there yet, last one ;)

here a vid of the first meet between the rover and the vessel (with my voice in 4xspeed its really "full kerbal" no?) note: I suck at video editing xD


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2 hours ago, Pouicpouic said:

the perfect ascent profile with such a drag is quite unusual.

Yes, but you did a great job!  I also find ascent profiles for such vessels difficult, and I’m usually just happy to make it to orbit in one piece.  Eliminating the floppieness of large rockets is difficult also, it looks like your ship is quite rigid!

2 hours ago, Pouicpouic said:

: I suck at video editing xD

You are much better at it than I am!

I am looking forward to seeing more of your entries.

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12 hours ago, 18Watt said:

Eliminating the floppieness of large rockets is difficult also, it looks like your ship is quite rigid!

4 necessary settings to avoid problems :

- all reaction wheels on rover set on "SAS only" (2 medium reactions wheels and the cabin) --> when i driving the rover, i set an action group to change the operating mode of the reaction wheels ("SAS only" at ground, "normal" in case of a jump, "pilot only" never // yes i need both hands to drive this thing^^)

- auto-strut ("advanced settings" enabled in the game options) most of big parts on "grandparent" except robotic, dock, and small non-structural parts --> beware that this can create problems in case of docking with reorganization of root parts : so you really shouldn't activate the auto-strut on all parts without consideration! always leave 2 (or 3) parts "free without auto strut" near a dock or a robotic part if there is a risk

- some struts (only 3 in 4x symmetrical for this vessel)

- turn off SAS or set the vector's gimbal to zero until the launch --> vector's gimbal set at 60% during the first part of the flight and then reduced to 30% or less if the ship makes "waves" near or in the void.

Ah yes and its only a 70parts/430tons vessel, witch is quite low in KSP :) --> I'll share the craft if someone wants to try the whole challenge in 1 launch but it requires a good mastery of ksp imo.

Edited by Pouicpouic
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18 hours ago, 18Watt said:

My experience driving at night was that crashes happen more frequently.  I generally try to drive during daylight. 

Likewise. The stock headlights are near-useless. However if you are using a life support mod it may not be practical to only drive during the day, especially with Moho's very long solar day.

I found the MTS light from https://spacedock.info/mod/2369/TrackingLights makes a reasonably good "big headlight" (indeed it can be turned up to provide truly absurd amounts of light); I've got two on my Mk VI rover. It's considerably smaller than the Spotlight shown on the mod's spacedock page.

Edited by damerell
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After a month-long hiatus, I'm back to Elcano-ing, and I just completed a Minmus circumnavigation. This one was done in a couple of hours with a new rover that I didn't bother to give a proper name, so we'll just go by its provisional designation of "bug nugget".


This Elcano was also the first one to feature a reusable launch vehicle, as I felt like the 3.75m core stage gave me a little more delta-V than I actually needed. The booster is powered by four Bobcat engines, with a single Vector in the center to top it off. 


Launch and Booster Landing:


The ascent profile is fairly standard, with the booster taking off with a TWR of about 1.4. It serves to propel the craft into a low Kerbin orbit, before detaching and landing back on Kerbin near-ish to the KSC (My KSC landing skills have gotten real rusty).



About halfway to orbit, the outer Bobcat engines are shut down to increase the vehicle's ISP, as the Vector has an ISP of 315, compared with 310 for the Bobcats.


Orbit achieved!


Detaching the booster


Booster re-entry


Parachute deployment




Minmus Arrival and Circumnavigation:


Once the booster had landed back on Kerbin safely, it was off to Minmus. This craft only uses a single stage to perform the Minmus transfer, landing, and return, as the delta-V requirements for Minmus are fairly low, much lower than those of the Mun, where I used an Apollo-style two-stage lander setup.


Approaching Minmus


Landed at Minmus, in the hills to the west of the Great Flats.


Once detached, the rover begins its journey around Minmus, and it's at this point that I discover that I have way more wheel power than I actually need. Every time I tried to accelerate, the front end of the rover shot upwards like the nose of a drag racer goes up during acceleration from the sheer power of the engine. Following this, I had Billy-Bobcan Kerman remove four of the wheels to lighten the load a little.


Approaching the Great Flats (or Greater Flats, I can't remember which is which, because they're two separate biomes for some reason). I.e there's the Lesser Flats, the Great Flats, and the Greater Flats.


Driving across the Great-ish flats of Minmus. The whole drive across only took a few minutes, as I was able to get some decent speed going by the end.




About 1/4 of the way around Minmus


Olivine Formation


Repairing a wheel that broke after hitting the ground at high speed following an ill-advised 500-meter jump into the air


"It looked pretty desolate. But it was minty desolation." - Billy-Bobcan Kerman, in an interview following his return to Kerbin




Jumping down this gully into the Lesser Flats at over 60 m/s


Brace for impact...


Ouch. That's all of the wheels broken in one shot. Can't say I'd ever done that in any previous Elcano run before. Welp, that's why we brought repair kits.



Kerbin rising on the horizon. At first I thought it was some sort of Minmus-arch and I got confused, seeing as only the Mun has arches.


Driving down into the final flats area


Less than 1 km to go!





Celebratory flag planting commemorating the completion of another Elcano, of which this mission was my eighth. Only seven more to go!


The Trip Home:


Liftoff from Minmus. Orbital velocity is achieved in only a few seconds thanks to the high thrust of the Cub engines.


Leaving the minty world behind


Warm welcome home (forgot to screenshot the splashdown for some reason)


So that's.. let's see here.. Eight Elcano runs completed now. My next one will probably be done on Ike or Dres, which I expect to be not much different from Mun in terms of time/difficulty. After that, I'll probably do one on Laythe, which is basically the Kerbin circumnavigation all over again, then one on Moho, which I am really not looking forward to, as I've heard the terrain there is absolutely ruthless. I'll probably do Eeloo after that, and the final mission will be to do an Elcano of both Eve and Gilly in the same mission, with a return vehicle included.

Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
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Kind of weird getting that on Minmus - ah, stock wheels. With KF wheels I'd expect them to recognise there's almost no traction, so while the vessel being light would make it easy to nose-up, the wheels just wouldn't be able to apply very much torque.

Alternatively I'd have switched to FWD so that the instant the front wheels left the ground there'd be no more drive torque.

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7 hours ago, damerell said:

Kind of weird getting that on Minmus - ah, stock wheels. With KF wheels I'd expect them to recognise there's almost no traction, so while the vessel being light would make it easy to nose-up, the wheels just wouldn't be able to apply very much torque.

Alternatively I'd have switched to FWD so that the instant the front wheels left the ground there'd be no more drive torque.

I think the issue was that I had set the drive limiter all the way up, so the wheels just operated as they would on Kerbin- way too strong for Minmus’s gravity. After I removed the middle four wheels, I turned the traction control override back off, and things worked much better.

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Mun circumnavigation done ! really great ! top speed near 72m/s. Was stuck at 59.9m/s for most of the trip, then at 65m/s (less than minmus boooo!) until the last 100km :)




Edited by Pouicpouic
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Ike circumnavigation complete! This circumnavigation was done using the same rover design as my previous one on Minmus, but this time I decided to make a new mothership for it, the Keimos,  that could take it to multiple planets in a single mission. I.e. after Ike is finished, I plan to take the rover to Dres, then to Moho and Eeloo. I wish I'd thought of this before I did my three-in-one mission to Vall, Bop, and Pol.


The Keimos:


The Keimos (Kerbalized version of Deimos) is an interplanetary VTOL spacecraft capable of carrying small-to-medium-sized payloads in its cargo bay to the surface of the smaller vacuum worlds. Fully fueled, it has about 5,500 meters per second of delta-V, which should be enough to complete the crazy Moho-to-Eeloo or vice-versa transfer later down the line. If not, I guess I can just use gravity assists. 


In order to get the rover out and onto the surface, there is a sliding piston door in the cargo bay's floor that allows for the rover to be gently lowered to the ground by another piston with a docking port mounted on the end. There are also drills and ISRU units in the cargo bay to allow for on-surface refueling. 


In order to land vertically, the Keimos has four Thud engines which can be switched on for landing, providing about 0.3g of acceleration when the craft is fully fueled. This should be just enough to take off from Moho. (key word: should.) Here you can see me testing the landing engines by lowering gravity using the cheat menu:


Overall, I'm pretty happy with how this design turned out, and I must give credit where credit is due: this design was inspired by an old ShadowZone Video titled "Wacky Rover Delivery Systems", specifically the "Utterly Pointless", which I appear to have managed to give a purpose.



Launch/Journey to Ike:


Anyways, enough talking about the mothership, let's get this rover to Ike! Launching the Keimos was a little bit awkward thanks to its use of many wing parts and the draggy cupola at the front, but after a failed attempt at launch, I added a nose cone to the front, and made it to orbit OK.



Once in orbit, the cupola nose cone is jettisoned


Performing the transfer burn to Duna


Leaving the blue marble behind


Duna intercept trajectory


Orbital insertion around Duna


Ike rising as the Keimos lowers its orbit around Duna



Low Ike Orbit


Beginning the landing burn


Once most of the Keimos's velocity has been cancelled, we switch off the Nervs and engage the four Thuds to land on Ike's surface


Safe on Ike. Initially, I had to move to a different landing site after landing, as the landing legs kept sliding around on the slight slope I had landed on. You would think that after all this time, this glitch would finally be fixed, but here we are. As far as I can remember, this glitch has been a thing since 1.1, when I first started playing KSP, six years ago.



Rover is lowered to the surface on a piston and then driven out from underneath the Keimos


Interior EVA view of the cargo bay



Celebratory start-marker flag planting


Ranting about the sliding glitch a little bit




Flag planting again, in case you didn't read the previous spoilers


Bill examining a Duna rock that's found its way to Ike


Leaving the Keimos behind to begin the circumnavigation


Getting to a nice cruising speed of about 50 m/s in the hills. With time warp, this Elcano will be done in no time! (foreshadowing)


Doing a pretty nice jump with Duna looming behind us


About 40 km into the circumnavigation, I broke a wheel, and that's when I realized that I'd made a mistake: I hadn't put an engineer kerbal on the rover to fix wheels in the event of one breaking. Luckily, I was still fairly close to the Keimos, so I was able to just send Bob back to it by EVA jetpack.


"Graceful" landing by Bob


Once Bob was back on board the Keimos, Bill Kerman stepped out and flew over to the rover using his jetpack. His landing went a little smoother than Bob's.


After that minor hiccup, I continued on. A little while later, I saw that Duna was now on the horizon.



Speeding through the hills at 65 m/s as night falls. Driving on Ike at night is especially difficult, as the terrain is already such a dark shade of gray, meaning that at night it is almost pitch black, even with your brightness turned up.


May or may not have been worth it


Duna rising again. I didn't bother to take a single screenshot for the entire night drive, which probably constituted around half of the entire trip.


Kerbol emerging from behind Duna on the horizon. Probably one of my favorite screenshots of the whole mission.


IVA view of Duna and Kerbol


Less than 100 km to go!


"Are we there yet"?


About 40 km from the Keimos. The terrain here sloped up into a long mountain range just before the Keimos, which meant that I had to drive on the side of it almost all the way there.


Then, when I closed to within about 19-20 km of the Keimos, I made a mistake that set me back almost 30 minutes: I pressed the time warp button without pressing Alt first, which resulted in the rover going straight through the terrain and exploding at 5x warp. I had not quicksaved for quite some time before that, and, in fact, I had barely done it at all during this entire Elcano run; I only crashed the rover once, and crashes were easy to avoid thanks to Ike's low gravity. I pretty much only quicksaved when I had to stop to fix broken wheels. Honestly though, I'm surprised that this is the first time this has happened to me in my nine Elcano runs. I guess Ike's high terrain just makes it so you can use regular warp just above the surface, which in my case had disastrous consequences. Here's me driving through the approximate location of the incident after making up the lost progress.


About 1 km out from the Keimos, Bill and Val spot it in their window.


Back at the Keimos, Bill and Val plant a celebratory finish-line flag.




Leaving Ike for Dres:


Now that the Ike circumnavigation had been completed, it was time for the Keimos to leave for Dres, as Duna and Dres were already aligned in a transfer window. Before leaving, however, we had to get the rover back into the cargo bay, which went quite well.



Bill inspecting the rover after it was taken back into the cargo bay




Ascending into orbit


Ring of flags/ low orbit achieved


Duna-Dres transfer


Mid-course inclination correction


Approaching Dres


Orbital insertion


Passing over the giant canyon during our descent for landing. I want to drive through the canyon near the end of the Dres Elcano, so I decided to land the Keimos just downwind of it.


Landed at Dres. The same slidy-landing-gear nonsense happened here as well, and I was forced to move to a level area once again.


As always, this run was completely stock with both DLCs.

Edited by Jack Joseph Kerman
hit post by accident before i was done
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Arraki... hmm.. Duna completed in approx 3days IGT ! Mostly accross inner seas and canyons. I'm pretty sure that sandworms can't go faster than 50m/s in the dunes because none of them managed to catch me. ^^

Highest point >6400m ; lowest <240m. Some beautiful landscapes! One wheel repair... Blueberries... ;)

New overall top speed : 76,3m/s. (very quickly dethroned after the transfer to Ike where I've already reached 78,3m/s).



A quick stop to say hello to the main base on Duna. (career stock+ no mods)



all screenshots : https://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198022663037/screenshots/?appid=sc_578556&sort=newestfirst&browsefilter=myfiles&view=imagewall

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Dres complete. I do not wish to return for a long, long time, maybe ever. Lots of unfortunate events occurred there. The most boring dwarf planet that doesn't exist has enacted retribution against me for making jokes like that. It has inflicted pain and torment against me and my humble rover all the way around its circumference, from the highest mountain to the bottom of the giant canyon. Endless hilly terrain, ground that wheels would randomly clip into, causing SAS to malfunction and making me drive for 200 km without ever leaving the ground, the list goes on. I will one day have my day of reckoning, and I will not be merciful. 

There is only one thing that needs to be said: Dres will be eliminated.



Anyways, yeah. I completed my Dres circumnavigation, and it was not a pleasant experience. But we'll get to that. Firstly, let's start where I left off at the end of my last post, where I went from Ike to Dres. Once the Keimos was on Dres, the rover was lowered to the ground and a flag planted. This flag would pretty much set the tone for the whole mission. I finally acknowledged Dres's existence, and all it would do is torment me for doing so. I wished to restore cordial relations, but all it did was motivate me to dislike it more.


The Circumnavigation:


The Dres Elcano would begin just like any other, with me driving my rover away from the starting point, on, as with most of my Elcano runs, an equatorial route. I had landed the Keimos just to the east of the big canyon so that I would be able to drive through it at the end, as I had incorrectly assumed that such a venture would be "fun".


 Already, we come to the first reason that the Dres Elcano was so frustrating for me: the hills. Hills, hills everywhere. Certainly way more than on any other body I've circumnavigated thus far, even Duna, which has those annoying procedurally generated ones that make the whole surface look the same.


The constant changes in elevation made it very difficult to pick up and maintain any significant speed. I would get up to 20, 25, maybe 30 m/s if I was lucky, then I'd land on a hill and spin out of control if the angle wasn't exactly right. On uphill slopes, I would be hard-pressed to go more than 25 m/s. In this next screenshot, you can see another source of misery: the Breaking Ground terrain scatter.


The scatters on Dres are larger and more obnoxious than anywhere else I've circumnavigated thus far apart from Tylo, but they could be easily avoided thanks to Tylo's high gravity. On Dres, you can't make any sudden turns, or you'll risk spinning out, especially if you're airborne, which I was a considerable portion of the time thanks to the low gravity. 

Occasionally, I would come to a flat valley with relatively little hills such as this one, but these were generally small and would quickly give way to more endless hilly terrain.


Looking at a piece of scatter after I crashed directly into it at 30 m/s and was stopped dead in my tracks. The boulder was located over the crest of a hill, and as such I had no way of knowing it was there. Later down the line, a boulder, and later a crater, would fling me hundreds of meters off course after I hit it.


Getting launched into the air (backwards or sideways, I can't remember) by a crater that I hit


A little bit later, during the nightside phase of the drive, I started slowing down for seemingly no reason, and that's when I realized that my wheels had somehow clipped into the ground and were stuck. Again, this was something I hadn't encountered before, and Dres was once again enacting vengeance upon me.


See that flag in the background. That's the second time I had to plant it, as the first time I planted it, the rover was stuck, and upon planting it, it was placed more than 250 meters from where Billy-Bobcan Kerman was actually standing. Upon loading a quicksave in an attempt to get the rover unstuck, the flag exploded. Before realizing that it was 250 meters away, I thought the flag was just invisible or something.


Planting it the second time


I did eventually figure out that time warp fixed the stuck wheels issue, though, and, being tired of driving in the dark, I time warped to the next morning. During that morning, I hit another blind boulder and went flying 1 km off course. See that brown speck on the right? That's the boulder I hit at 40 m/s. I had also lost two solar panels, the back light, a headlight, and one of the RTGs by this point.


Then, the very worst issue of the whole mission happened: The SAS broke. On a body with low gravity like Dres, you spend a lot of your time being airborne, and you need SAS in order to properly land your jumps, or else you'll tumble off course. Well, as my luck would have it, the SAS on my rover decided to just break, and basically, whenever I left the ground, it spun out of control if the reaction wheels were on, SAS or no SAS. I lost a few more parts this way, but eventually managed to get it safely on the ground. To make matters even worse, quickloading did nothing to fix the problem, and my last save was almost an hour ago.


So what this meant was that I would pretty much no longer be able to leave the ground. If the rover did anything more than a tiny hop, it would spin out of control upon landing. And I still had almost 200 kilometers to go. Fun times ahead. I could have sent a replacement rover or reloaded my last save and lost an hour of time, which, admittedly, probably would have been faster, I decided not to; instead, I would just stick it out and drive the rest of the way like this in order to spite Dres.


And so we continued on, barely able to exceed 10 m/s, 15 if we were lucky.


100 km to go. Doing  a signature wipeout maneuver.


Manipulated Picture of Mun Valley


Approaching the canyon


Once I had subsequently left the canyon, it was still about 60 km to the Keimos. Luckily, the terrain had gotten a little bit more chill, and as such this leg of the drive was a bit easier, although by this point I was starting to lose my head after driving for so long without SAS. Nothing interesting really happened during this final leg, apart from relief, I suppose. Then, at long last, I finally caught a glimpse of the Keimos again.


After planting another flag, the rover was loaded back into the cargo bay, and the crew made preparations for their departure from this wretched dwarf planet.



Things didn't get much better during the drive through the giant canyon, but the cool views sort of made up for it, I guess.


Nevermind, they definitely do not. This was the largest of probably over a dozen tumbles to the bottom of the canyon. Driving through was very slow, especially without SAS. It probably took me over 30 minutes just to cross the canyon.


Once I was at the very bottom, however, the walls of the canyon took up almost the whole sky, with only a narrow corridor remaining. Behold, Dres's one redeeming quality.


Leaving the canyon behind



Leaving (thank God) for Eeloo:


Before we could leave for Eeloo, however, the Keimos needed to refill its fuel tanks with ISRU, something that was accomplished in about 40 days. Once that was complete, it was finally time to lift off from the surface after jettisoning the ore.



After reaching orbit, I decided to do a first and actually use the new maneuver planning tool to plot a course for Eeloo. I say "new", but it's been in the game for more than 2 years now, I've just never bothered to use it as I thought it made transfers too easy.


About a year and a half later, it was finally time to burn the engines to leave Dres for good. Reaching Eeloo would take another 3 years or so, but the crew was glad to just be leaving Dres behind. Various offensive finger gestures were directed at the dwarf planet as it grew smaller in the Keimos's windows.


While I was en route to Eeloo, I noticed that I would be passing fairly close to Jool before reaching it, probably at a distance of about 1 AU or so. Knowing this, I pointed the Keimos in its direction and was actually able to spot it as a green speck in the cupola's IVA view.


Finally, after about 4 years of waiting, the Keimos arrived at Eeloo, and promptly performed its orbital insertion burn. I haven't landed just yet, but I'm sure I'll get to that tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm just glad to be off of Dres. Despite it being about the same size as Ike, Dres took about twice as long to circumnavigate thanks to the plethora of factors described above. I'm hoping that Eeloo will be more chill (pun intended) and that its terrain will be smoother in comparison. Plus, the higher gravity should make going airborne a bit more difficult.


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Your adventure on Dres reminds me of getting home on Kerbin, where in the very last bit of the journey the steering suddenly and inexplicably got stuck and I had to limp over the line with MechJeb and me fighting the controls. Only, presumably, for rather longer.

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15 minutes ago, damerell said:

Your adventure on Dres reminds me of getting home on Kerbin, where in the very last bit of the journey the steering suddenly and inexplicably got stuck and I had to limp over the line with MechJeb and me fighting the controls. Only, presumably, for rather longer.

It took me almost 3 hours to cover the remaining 200 km after the SAS broke down.

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