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Acorn Starflight Development Thread

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Hi y'all!

So, I was reading the Earth Unaware novel by Orson Scott Card recently and got really inspired to build some crazy massive interstellar ship in KSP. The basic idea is that it will have a sort of hydrogen filter section at the front, inspired (vaguely) by the alien mothership in the aforementioned novel. It'll be loads of pipes inside each other, each one smaller than the last. I'll use Tweakscale to make that bit.

01. Engines

I'm really not sure. When brainstorming this project, I considered multiple things; nuclear salt water rockets, VASMIR, even millions of Dawn engines. I'll decide once I've taken a look at them all individually.

02. Hull

I'm fairly sure it will be made up of those structural plates that have loads of attachment nodes on them. I might tweakscale them up to a manageable size so it's not too tedious. I'll probably have Mk3 passenger modules clipping out the sides and some Mk2 on the top. There's gonna be a large science bay and a dome on top acting as a tracking station (similar to the Eye of El Cavador in the novel).

03. Electricity

It'll most likely be a mix; quite a lot of reactors and probably a huge solar array. I'll also have massive power banks and auxiliary generators. 

It's name hasn't been decided yet. Here's the ship in the novel, if anyone's interested:



I'll update this topic as development progresses. Stay tuned!

Oh, and one more thing; I'm going to have a LOT of mods on this vessel. A LOT LOT. Be aware of that before complaining that I use too many mods; it's my playstyle.

Edited by Second Hand Rocket Science
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Here's the original design for the front scoop. It's subject to some... large changes. I'll probably ditch this, it's awkward, unwieldy and ugly.



I'm not sure how to do the body yet. I attempted it here. I'm gonna leave this as a testbed for some ideas.




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  • 4 weeks later...

Sooooo... This thread has been inactive since the 2nd... I kinda gave up on this idea. But with fresh enthusiasm I intend to revive this idea!

I'm gonna try and re-think the scoop at the front, and try and make it as similar to the one fresh from Orson Scott Card's imagination - or, rather, Aaron Johnston's imagination - maybe made out of fairings?

Changing the back end significantly. Since we never actually see an illustration of the back of the Formic ship, I can make my imagination run wild! I'm gonna go for an Aurora-like design (Subnautica crashed ship). I've decided on a name, so here goes:


It translates from Latin to "Force Of Mankind". The lore, if you're wondering, is that mankind after the defeat of the Formics reverse engineered as much of their tech as they could. This included the barely intact hydrogen scoop, engines and oxygen supply (if you're confused about that last one, go read Earth Awakens). They built their own starship close to identical to the Formic ship and designated it the flagship of the International Fleet (again, read Earth Unaware through Earth Awakens). 

Probably no progress tonight but definitely some tomorrow!

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Testing out some concepts. This is the... Helios? Yeah, that sounds good.

Launched using the inventively named Citrus Heavy. That might not make sense until you see it.


Here's the Citrus Heavy before launch.

screenshot24 screenshot23

Citrus Heavy reaching space (launch was uneventful and routine)

screenshot25 screenshot26


I never took any pictures of the payload on this mission since I didn't realize I would be posting it here. I'll get back to you with the payload in time. Long story short, it didn't work. The xenon engines that I had made... no thrust? Yep. I had a ReStock Ion engine running in underclock - overclock mode (one engine underclocked to produce fuel and electricity, one overlocked to produce loads of thrust). Maybe it's becuase the ion engines weren't stock? I'll test this further soon. But I'm signing off for tonight.

Edited by Second Hand Rocket Science
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