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Circumnavigating Stuff in the Kerbol System (with the KAN-KAN III)


Nazalassa

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Hi there!

For a while, I (and also Bob) have been wanting to complete the Elcano challenge.

(continuated:)

(I know I've already made a thread about Elkano, but I think it's cleaner to start a new one)

 

So Bob talked to Jeb about the idea, and then to Bill, and then to Val, and it was decided that they would go circumnavigate all the bodies in the Kerbol system (that have a surface, of course).

 

False start counter: 1

 

False start #1:

Spoiler

They will use these three ships:

The KAN-KAN II is the rover. It has four service bays, which are shielded from drag by the engine plates. The engine plates shield each other from drag. In order to have the engine plates shield anything from drag, their end nodes are covered by reaction wheels, which are in turn shielded from drag by the cargo bays, which shield everything else, except the wheels. So the rover has no drag, except for the wheels. This is good for underwater performance - and indeed, this rover is designed to drive both on land and on the seabed. It holds two Kerbals (Bill and Bob) and a probe, and weighs about 6 tons.
The KAN-KAN II is derived from the former KAN-KAN, which sadly had too many issues to be used on circumnavigations.

The Kanethal is the lander. It has sufficient thrust and fuel to reach Duna or Tylo orbit while carrying the rover, and still have fuel left. It cannot, however, liftoff on Laythe, due to the dense atmosphere. Also, it will need to be refueled once on the surface of the larger bodies. It can carry a single Kerbal (Jeb), and can dock with the Kanenia once in orbit.
 It has around 4.5 km/s of DeltaV while carrying the rover, and additional stuff can be added (like parachutes or boosters) if needed.

The Kanenia is the mothership, and so has the responsability of carrying the rover and the lander around. It has around thirty tons of Xenon gas and its batteries can hold 64,000 EC. Its 18 ion thrusters give a thrust of 36 kN, and can burn for more than 15 hours. In total, it has 15.5 km/s of DeltaV when carrying the full lander and the rover, or 31 km/s if it's alone. It has two docking arms for the refuel tankers. It seats one Kerbal (Val) because more is not necessary.

 

 

Here's the "official" flag:

Spoiler

jzxqhFj.png

 

TBC :)

Edited by Nazalassa
Elkano 5th
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Tanker launches

Since the journey will likely use more fuel than available on the Kanenia, Gene Kerman decided to launch several tankers into various orbits - A xenon tanker around Jool, a xenon tanker around Duna, two fuel tankers around Jool, one around Dres, one around Eeloo, one around Moho, maybe a third one around Jool for safety, and several smaller tankers to refuel the lander on the surface of Duna, Laythe, Tylo, Vall for safety, maybe Eeloo? Anyways, that's a lot of rockets to launch.

Edited by Nazalassa
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Kerbin Elkano

Let's start with Kerbin. The Kanethal and the Kanenia will be sent later (the, um, lifters are not finished yet).
Here's the path to follow:

kerbin.path.final.png

The longest part will certainly be the 800 or so kilometers underwater; it may take 35 hours! But Bob really wants to do it. Bill agreed, as he wants to take photos of fishes and other sealife.

Edited by Nazalassa
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The clipped wheels and drag shenanigans are pleasantly cheesy.

I think you will find it very hard to use the same rover on every world. If I were suddenly made aware of a bunch of worlds I missed, I'd be much more keen to design a rover based on what I knew about gravity and terrain there and what I now know about roving under various conditions. Even though I used much the same design for everything beyond Minmus, it evolved over time but also the Eve variant was intentionally different in view of the conditions on Eve.

Good luck.

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22 hours ago, damerell said:

The clipped wheels and drag shenanigans are pleasantly cheesy.

I think you will find it very hard to use the same rover on every world. If I were suddenly made aware of a bunch of worlds I missed, I'd be much more keen to design a rover based on what I knew about gravity and terrain there and what I now know about roving under various conditions. Even though I used much the same design for everything beyond Minmus, it evolved over time but also the Eve variant was intentionally different in view of the conditions on Eve.

Good luck.

Thanks!

P.S: the wheels are not clipped, else it would completely ignore water and... Well let's say... Cliff jumping and stuff may be hard - wait, I'll try :)
Edit: no, I can't :(

Edited by Nazalassa
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Since launches felt a bit too long, Bill had the brilliant idea of sticking three launchers together, to make it go thrice as fast.

elkano_169.png

 

Here is a collection of screenshots taken during the numerous RUDs that happened during flight:

Spoiler

elkano_166.png

elkano_167.png

elkano_168.png

elkano_170.png

... so now we're back to single-rocket launches. Will take a while.

Edited by Nazalassa
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  • 2 weeks later...

After some engineering, a dual-tanker design allowed to launch two tankers separately.

elkano_173.png

elkano_195.png

For now the two tankers will have to do the trip together, I think I'll can design a version that has individual NERV stages for each of them. (roving won't start until all the tankers are in orbit, sorry)

Edited by Nazalassa
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After at least TEN unsuccessful flights (I haven't taken screenshots of all of them), I finally got two separate tankers in orbit of Kerbin!

iEFBfUV.png

They both have 16 NERVs and around 4 km/s of DeltaV.
So, good news: the orbital tankers are all launched. Now what's left to do before roving is to launch the ground tankers, which will refuel the lander of the surface of certain bodies, such as Tylo or Duna.


Here's a compilation of RUDs that occured during testing:

Spoiler

LbtruMu.png

It06RXT.png S8SJtsZ.png

Fairing separation goes brrr

iGvn4le.png

y7vptZC.png

No, Bill, that's not how a fairing is supposed to work.

Edited by Nazalassa
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  • 2 weeks later...

I know the feeling; I had scanner satellite missions en route to everywhere before I started putting kerbals into space. ETA: I mean, for the Elcano, not in general.

Edited by damerell
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  • 4 weeks later...

All refuel stuff launched (except for Moho, but that'll be on day 82)

Roving can now start.

Kerbin Elkano

Right! Kerbin path:

kerbin.path.final.png

We'll begin by the 800 or so kilometers underwater; it may take 35 hours! Bill will take photos of fishes and other sealife.

Edited by Nazalassa
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Spoiler

elkano.kerbin_000.png

On the evening of day 2, year 1, the KAN-KAN II leaves the KSC, heading for the water somewhere south.
 

elkano.kerbin_001.png

The KAN-KAN II is about to enter the sea
 

elkano.kerbin_002.png

"Aquabraking"
 

elkano.kerbin_005.png

Let's go!
 

elkano.kerbin_008.png

(some time later...)
 

elkano.kerbin_009.png

1km depth reached! (I have no screenshot of the rover breaking 100m)

 

After 40 minutes, the rover has travelled 2.3 degrees south on the seabed, at a speed around 9.2m/s.

Estimation of time before getting back on land: 15 to 24 hours.

 

On 7/14/2023 at 8:41 PM, damerell said:

I hope you have a plan to get onto the polar icecaps; that's been an issue for many circumnavigators.

The polar ice caps are at 33m ASL, and I think the ground near them is higher than (or exactly at, haven't checked) 33m ASL in many points of their boundary, so I don't expect problems from this.

 

** UPDATE **
Rover crossed 3° south!

Edited by Nazalassa
Images!
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Rover is currently at 7° south. I encountered a weird bug that prevented the reaction wheels from being shielded from drag, effectively dividing my speed by approx. 6.333, thus lowering it to aound 1.5m/s. It affected all quicksaves I has where the rover is underwater. Restarting the game fixed it.

Also, after 2h 45min, the Kerbol finally rose above the horizon.

elkano.kerbin_012.png

I feel like being on another planet.

Edited by Nazalassa
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  • 1 month later...

I got back to the rover and tried to drive it a bit. The "your-reaction-wheels-are-no-longer-shielded-even-if-they-should've-been" bug reappeared immediately! Restarting the game had no effect this time. Damn.

After some investigations I noticed the green highlight around the RW is longer in flight than in the VAB...

Luckily I am not too far from the starting point. Only 7° lost. I don't know how to fix it, so I will just recover the rover and send a new one, with some improvements. Mostly, making the RWs dragless.

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Ah, I see. The larger highlighting is just the shroud from the engine plate. Okaaay...

 

New rover launched. It's waiting on the shore. Circumnavigation will soon start.

Also, since I want to land the same rover on all planets, this is basically half a grand tour, I may as well complete a grand tour + elkano combo. But that will require changing the mothership and making changes to the lander. (and also not use all the refuelling tankers I have put in orbit)

Edited by Nazalassa
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  • 2 months later...

Update on Kerbin circumnavigation.

Got another drag issue. So I restarted the Kerbin trip for the thid time.
This time I used the SAS as a pseudo-autopilot:

4 hours ago, Nazalassa said:

The SAS is actually useful, but the default key bindings make it pretty useless: it resets the direction it wants to point towards when you press any rotation key, and rover movement is bound to such keys, so if you constantly press 'w' the SAS will keep resetting itself. I remapped 'w' to 't' for rover movement (added 't' as secondary key), and now the SAS follows a steady 159° instead of drifting every now and then.

Actually, it kept following 159° for 26 hours! Except for when I ran out of EC.

The rover is currently at 15.56° S, and it's been a day and 53 seconds since launch - make that a day in the water.

<screenshot coming soon>

Quick math:

t(15°)=1day  <=>  t(90°)=6day=36h

Underwater part will take (approx.) 35 to 36 hours.


While the SAS keeps the rover pointing south, I can do other stuff, like reading War and Peace (I'm serious).

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Update on Kerbin circumnavigation.

KSP has now run for 13h 22min 18sec and the rover is at 34.58° S.

Progress so far:

kerbin.01.png

kerbin.02.png

(I have done some more roving between these pictures and this post.)

Edited by Nazalassa
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Update on Kerbin circumnavigation.

The rover has been roving on the seabed for 3 in-game days now (so 18h IRL) and is expected to reach land in 4h and 15 minutes. Currently at 47.23°S 58.36°W. Crew moral is nominal, even if Bob has been complaining for the last three hours about the complete lack of sealife and other interesting features.

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Update on Kerbin circumnavigation.

The KAN-KAN II has successfully emerged from Kerbin's ocean near 56°S 53°W!

kerbin.09.png


It appears it has some serious issues climbing 30° slopes, I hope these are just on the shore.

On the seabed I only quicksaved 5 times (in 600 km or so) and I never needed to reload. As soon as I try to go on land: boom! Already reloaded 3 times and it's not even been 10 minutes.

Edited by Nazalassa
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