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Completed Let's Play Kerbal Space Program 0.9: Spaceplanes First

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Cassidy, Mar 20, 2015.

?

Quicksaving and Mission Reversals?

  1. NEVER! Ironman or bust!

    13 vote(s)
    76.5%
  2. Yes. Spaceplanes are the hard

    4 vote(s)
    23.5%
  1. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    6,004
    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I volunteer for glorious space mission.
     
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  2. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,872
    Location:
    Dragodol
    am i dead?? acording to this tomstone i am

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
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    I managed to get it working and now this thread will have a truly explosive grand finale, provided I don't end failing too much and running the budget of the space program to the floor first.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Obviously I backed up the save before editing it to test this one last time to be sure it would show up in the tech tree and I reverted to the original.


    Update coming soon with the only volunteer currently not dead.
     
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  4. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dragodol
    so mr. @Cassidy did i die ?? coz this was not good at all
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Modron Arcane

    Modron
    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    3,891
    You walked away from that one, you were not allowed to have such a glorious end you went out the Afrikan space program equivalent of slipping in the shower.
    Show Spoiler



    But worry not, given your proclivities there are probably 100s of other drunken bastards out there who can sign up to fly the widowmaker.
     
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  6. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vault City
    Now I remembered why I really didn't want to ironman this. Because career mode is shit, most contracts still suck and ironman makes that ten times worse because for every mistake that doesn't lead to a real game over due to lack of funds you need to grind moar instead of reverting flight back to the VAB and trying to fix your mistake without wasting hours in banal shit boring contracts for more funds. Seriously. Too much fucking grind, too many boring contracts that can only be achieved early with slooow basic jet engines in early game and eventually because I was so full of the grind, I decided to take bigger risks, including trying a lunar landing without maneuver nodes to ensure minimal risk of doing it wrong and doing upgrades to base facilities by accepting some bold contracts that give a lot of funding in advance.

    Honestly I was strongly tempted to hit uninstall.exe after finishing this update. And deadly reentry in particular increases frustration in the Career Mode by 1000% and challenge by 200% because of making it impossible the use hypersonic rocket aircraft in early game for those boring yet high reward visual survey in Kerbin contracts, making them all feel like "Kill 1000 Cliffracers" and "Collect 500 mudcrab shells".

    :negative:

    Show Spoiler
    Shouldn't have even bothered to fix the nuclear pulse drive, damn. Although it was fun to play with in Sandbox.


    ===============

    [​IMG]

    Worth less than five bucks

    [​IMG]

    To replace the terrible losses, two have joined the ranks: Fromal and the scientist Jaedar.

    [​IMG]

    First a cheap, simple contract of testing an inline cockpit in space. The same is simply strapped to the cheapest solid booster, and that worked.

    [​IMG]

    Now, the heaviest of the modules to be tested in orbit. Hopefully those boosters will do most of the job themselves.

    [​IMG]

    This time, for a change, everything worked as intended.

    [​IMG]

    To allow some useful research in outer space, and in preparation for the manned mission to the Mun, finally a better complex for the brave men of Afrika.

    [​IMG]

    Done, and because there is no heat shield large enough for the larger capsule, it will have to be discarded, and the smaller one will serve as an escape pod into atmosphere.

    [​IMG]

    Decoupling happens in a normal orientation to minimize the impact of the same over the speed of the smaller pod, which could worsen reentry conditions. In minutes the rest of the vessel burns up in flames, but the escape pod naturally survives.

    [​IMG]

    Now another tricky, even if less heavy module has to be tested as well, and the reward from this one is much, much better.

    [​IMG]

    Hellraiser is also in the vessel, to be the first of the Kodex Krew to take a "walk" in outer space.

    [​IMG]

    So far it is working.

    [​IMG]

    It is blue.

    [​IMG]

    The success in these latest missions has helped a lot, but there is still much to be done.

    [​IMG]

    During the reentry stage, which will be the trickiest part because the heatshield doesn't cover all of the cockpit, they also managed to accidentally get in one of the areas that needed a crew report for a contract.

    [​IMG]

    The external batteries burned to a crisp and the ablative shielding was close to running out.

    [​IMG]

    But it worked, and mostly important, now there is an engineer experienced enough to repack parachutes, air-breathing engines and other useful technologies that will make atmospheric flight much safer than it ever was.

    [​IMG]

    This is going to be interesting....

    [​IMG]

    The the increase in funds finally better and bigger rockets can be done.

    [​IMG]

    Improvised fairings... maybe they will work.

    [​IMG]

    There goes a huge chunk of the Afrikan Union Space budget into flames.

    [​IMG]

    Damn. Trying to improvise fairings was a terribly bad idea.

    [​IMG]

    But now it should work... hopefully.

    [​IMG]

    Those two failures had a cost above 100,000. Disaster is an euphemism for what is happening. Having little budget, despite the reluctance of many in the program, pursuit of the visual survey contracts was the only way to help the still terrible financial situation of the same caused by a spiral of failures.

    [​IMG]

    Originally a traditional VTOL that unlike the widowmaker is totally going to be safe and nice to fly(seriously), a great and unorthodox addition happened thanks to all the SCIENCE EVA reports have given to the Afrikan Space Union. The West thought they had the monopoly in computer technology, but no more! the first 100% Afrikan unmanned probe is ready, but it will not do that. Instead it will do the role of being a fly-by-wire advanced avionics system, ensuring even an engineer rather than a pilot could fly it with stability and safety as the engineer can activate the SAS module from the cockpit to ensure a stable, safe flight, and thus Hellraiser will have the honor of piloting it.

    Currently it lacks an antenna that would allow it to be remotely controlled as long as the Space Center has a line of sight to it, but that could be easily modified.

    [​IMG]

    There are several places. If this VTOL airplane works, this will be simply boring.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly an attempt to land exactly at one of the areas where an EVA report was asked for who knows what reason failed, and now this will be a frustrating, grinding hike towards the same.

    [​IMG]

    Even worse, the landing was far from good, but Hellraiser had a great idea: he would convert this aircraft into a sliding ground vehicle.

    [​IMG]

    Totally going to work! He even managed to roll it so the cockpit would not be scraping the earth!

    [​IMG]

    It began well, heading towards the area where the report was requested by the contract... but eventually the engine blew due to the stresses of sliding over the ground. A frustrating hike was needed, and once that hassle was over, there were two more EVA reports to be done.

    [​IMG]

    A second night flight, more boredom now that it is clear the Pigmy is a completely stable, functional and safe aircraft.

    [​IMG]

    Time to deploy the chutes and land, hopefully not in the way the last landing happened.

    [​IMG]

    Nice! One of the two sites for the damn reports is quite close even! But there is no ladder to go down. This is the great design flaw of the Pigmy, and without certain technologies strangely beyond the reach of Afrika, that cannot be changed.

    [​IMG]

    Using the wing as a slider to go down was less pleasant than Hellraiser expected.

    [​IMG]

    And then a very, very stupid Kerbal ordered a recovery for the aircraft while Hellraiser was away, and now he was stranded.

    (I was going to click on the "space center" button but accidentally did that instead )

    When the mistake was noticed, an update led to a 100% unmanned Pigmy which also had a fancy autopilot someone wanted to test.

    [​IMG]

    Better to ignore that autopilot.

    [​IMG]

    Do not worry!

    [​IMG]

    However, they forgot that as soon as anything obstruct a direct line of sight between the KSC and an unmanned aircraft control will be lost...

    [​IMG]

    Great rescue, but there is still budget to burn because of this mistake.

    [​IMG]

    This time it better not fail.

    [​IMG]

    At least there is no doubt it will survive the landing now, even after the remote operators lose control over it. But it landed in the same way the first landing from Hellraiser happened, and after some boring hiking for EVA reports, he had a hard time getting inside the cockpit.

    [​IMG]

    Not a very bright mission, but it is finally over. Newer surveys, in even farther regions are accepted because that is nothing compared to how much is needed for a successful Mun mission.

    [​IMG]

    Looks like the Pigmy lacks range to do it. Damn, what a waste of time.

    [​IMG]

    A new design happens, which goes first to the far away waypoints to the northwest, then in a second flight it goes northeast even farther away. This new aircraft, the AFR-3 Loa, proves itself capable of reaching the speed of sound. It was noticeable for including a lifting canard instead of replacing its existing, proven aft-mounted wing with multiple winglet with a larger one.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly it also did not have fuel for that. A new design with even more fuel is needed then.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, the AFR-4 Ulminati, named in honor of the first who died in the infamous Widowmaker, not only had 4 times more fuel than the first jet aircraft of the Afrikan Union Space Program, it also had functional ladders allowing anyone flying it to reach the ground without any risk, and to climb up back to the cockpit as well. It was considered the best aircraft ever designed by the program. In its first flight, it proved to be very stable, capable of keeping level flight with only 30% of thrust and with enough range to get to the other side of the world. And of course, anyone* can fly it, rather than only pilots.

    Hellraiser had a nice yet boring flight towards fulfilling another survey contract. Landing at the right spot proved trickier, but it missed by only two kilometers.

    [​IMG]

    Great landing!

    [​IMG]

    But the takeoff to fly back to the Space Center(or as close to it as possible until the fuel runs out) after the mission was accomplished... at least nobody died.

    [​IMG]

    Cheap, easy contracts were sought often. The investment needed for a successful Mun mission was heavy, the risks massive and the budget tight. And there was that contract to put a Training Akademy into orbit. This time, it would be done, and this time, there would be no pilots involved.

    [​IMG]

    With the use of some new aerodynamic adapters, this could yet work, and somehow the probe was being controlled locally even though there was no crew inside (a glitch in RemoteTech, luckily).

    [​IMG]

    First stage went very good.

    [​IMG]

    Excellent! And there is still one entire booster left!

    [​IMG]

    This time this was a great success, the boosters alone almost doing all the job of getting it into orbit.

    [​IMG]

    Now all left to do is to run the test once the altitude is correct. Once technology allows for some... improvised docking, this orbital Akademy will be put to good use and life support among other extra modules will be connected to it.

    [​IMG]

    Another mission accomplished, and despite the initial failures, it still was profitable.

    [​IMG]

    Whitewolf was promised the Mun, and in a way, that promise would be honored, for the Mun lander was named in his honor.

    :salute:

    Tired of errands, many wanted a Mun landing NOW! Regardless of having no certainty it would succeed.

    [​IMG]

    The first stage lifts it very slowly, probably a waste, but as long as it keeps going up, it works.

    [​IMG]

    This time a nearly perfect gravity turn was achieved.

    [​IMG]

    Two separate stages, and the first liquid fuel stage is almost full yet. Now all left to do is to accelerate at the right place and right time to encounter with the orbit of the Mun.

    [​IMG]

    There goes another critical quantity of funding down the toilet. The maneuver was a total disaster. Over the world some trolls were spreading a lame "NIGGER FAILS AT MATH. NIGGER FAILS IN SPACE. NIGGER STOLE MY BIKE" meme like wildfire.

    [​IMG]

    And because things could not get even worse... although there are still about 5 hours of life support supplies from Hellraiser's EVA.

    [​IMG]

    Hang on, Hellraiser!

    [​IMG]

    Burning dangerously close to a crisp after a failure, an ironic fate for a vessel named Whitewolf, yet fortunately this time the parachutes are very well protected.

    [​IMG]

    And Hellraiser did not die of thirst, hunger or asphyxiation, and the only bright side of this disastrous mission.

    (Maybe I suck in this game as much as Crispy sucks in Unreal Tournament

    :0-13: )

    [​IMG]

    Several booring contracts later, the manager of the Space Program got tired and decided to gain as much funding in advance as possible to upgrade the tracking station, risks be damned.

    [​IMG]

    Now there is a choice between risking a Mun mission that will cost most of the remaining budget, or trying to put some satellites in orbit. There was only enough money for one of these, and if either failed...

    (I should have gone with the Mun mission as I already had a perfectly stable, functional design for it and with maneuver nodes I could do it. That was the worst mistake)

    [​IMG]

    This will be handy.

    [​IMG]

    If this flies in a straight line, it is going to work, and the rewards from these satellites are pretty good.

    [​IMG]

    The first stage demonstrates some difficulties, but it is working.

    [​IMG]

    Second stage gets it up much faster.

    [​IMG]

    Third stage... the fail begins.

    [​IMG]

    The tiny engine of this unmanned satellite delivery system lacks enough thrust to keep climbing away from the atmosphere....

    [​IMG]

    It is over now.

    [​IMG]

    The last hopes of a rising people to ascend to the stars crushed.

    [​IMG]

    To die in shameful display and infamy, that was the fate of the Afrikan Space Program.

    Desperatedly, a new version of the Whitewolf with serious budget cuts to fit within the tight remaining funds was proposed as the last hope.

    [​IMG]

    If it failed...

    [​IMG]

    Hellraiser could be the last Afrikan to get off the ground in the Afrikan Space Program. This was it, the end of all or the beginning of a new hope.

    [​IMG]

    ...

    [​IMG]

    And this is how the Afrikan Space Program ended with a worth of less than 5 bucks.

    END?

    1) Yes, this is the end. Afrika cannot into space.

    2) Print 75k Kimbabwean Dollars and try again
     
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  7. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,872
    Location:
    Dragodol
    i wote 2 and no ironman mode
     
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  8. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,105
    Location:
    Danzig, Potato-Hitman Commonwealth
    1) Let the white man win this round, but Afrika will rise again!

    TBH I started another hard ironman career mode save myself and the grind is noticeable. If I did not abuse the "transmit science from X" contracts things would go really slow.

    Also the contract generator needs some more work in regards to pacing. The exploration contracts are railroading the player too much. I did not finish explore Duna+Ike yet, my first probe (or rather 3 probes in one) is in transit there, but I totally am able to send probes anywhere at this point. It should also give me an Eve one or one for Jool.

    Luckily someone created a contract configuration plugin to allow easy modding of new contract types.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
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  9. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
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    NEVER!!!

    POLL BECAME OBSOLETE TOO

    AFRIKAN WISDOM TO THE RESCUE!

    [​IMG]

    Whether because of guilt or clever Kigerian schemes, the budget will never become negative, and do you know what that means?

    [​IMG]

    When you fail at rocket science, just learn how to abuse and exploit the economics to have an infinite source of funding, and because the budget never goes negative, all I have to do is wait for great contracts to exploit the fuck of those for extra bucks, and when everything is going wrong, you can cancel everything. This isn't over yet, but first, lets see the champion of freedom Menckenstein.

    :M
     
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  10. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,105
    Location:
    Danzig, Potato-Hitman Commonwealth
    They'll fix that in 1.0 though, a proper game over feature is on the list of things they'll add.

    But you also will be able to "sell" science or rep for cash in 1.0 as a desperate measure. At shitty exchange rates but it's more of a "I give no fucks" option.
     
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  11. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,138
    Location:
    Over there.
    There's already a mod to sell science for money. Might be worth looking into to continue Mighty Afrika's rise. It's not really that outrageous. Consider it a stand in for private companies purchasing space on a launch vehicle to send their experiments up. I'm sure third world shitholes without the wherewithal to do their own spess program would be willing to pay Afrika handsomely with oil/drug money.
     
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  12. Modron Arcane

    Modron
    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    3,891
    Hmmm I suppose 2 would be alright, provided you only reload when you screw stuff up and not when kerbals die because LP would lose half the charm if it wasn't a meat grinder.
     
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  13. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,872
    Location:
    Dragodol
    the eleventh son of Pilot Tindrli "god bless his soul" is reporting for duty as a pilot of course. He also enjoys Hookers and booze regardless the fact that he is muslim
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
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  14. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,138
    Location:
    Over there.
    There may be a scruffy looking ashy halfwit that has my chin and eyes wandering in from Sierra Leone, allegedly 96% ebola free. I disavow any connection to him, of course, but he might be looking for a job. Call him Bastard4 if some kind of continuity is expected.

    EDIT: Okay, I lied. Lazy ass never worked a day in his life, but give him enough opium, and he'll suck your dick and pretend to like it.
     
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  15. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
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    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    Now some lulzy LARP shit.

    New astronauts will be added to the program in the next update.

    Also I added a Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and /namibia/ crossover to the Lore here.

    :M

    =========================

    [​IMG]

    Zulu Program

    "I just want to start by saying that no feat is too great, no task too arduous when done for the love of ones clan and blood. I have a hope for this future to prevail. And I know you can all see it too. It's an ember, but with just the right amount of breath it can become a raging fire. And all of AfriKa will see it's beautiful glow in the night sky. Call it Southwest Afrika, call it New Khodesia, Call it whatever you want. But what it really is, is an idea born from desperation and love for a dying culture and a people under systematic attack. This idea will live, and we, you and I will be the lucky few to which they will teach the children in generations to come. I will emphasize that this is a 'non-violent' immigration campaign in which we will be funding and developing Namibia for the benefit and mutual gain for everyone involved. That means US and the NATIVES who we will respect, but will not allow every unwarranted concession against our soon to be purchased rights within the land. This project aims to inject masses of funding into the Namibian agricultural, energy and residential sectors for all people."

    -- /namibia/ Project, origin of 90% of the Afrikan Space Program rocket scientists who designed successful prototypes instead of horrible failures, a detail once covered up for obvious reasons.

    Soundtrack: A Wing and a Prayer

    The Afrikan Union faces a long term identity crisis, because the population of Al-Skandiya is currently 100% Afrikan while some enclaves are having a demographic expansion while mass migration because of not realizing that Al-Skandiya is currently poorer than Afrika and a slow reduction in birth rates may settle for a future where the color of Afrika will change completely. After what appeared to be ultimate demise of the Space Program, attempts of a hatemonger campaign on the light skinned ones ended only with the president of the Union being assassinated, and in a bloodless coup, a group of technocrats led by no one else than Neil deGrasse Kyson took over control of the young Union, putting an end to many abuses and extreme corruption that plagued the same. The fact the majority of this new regime was somewhere from 30% to 100% light skinned was eventually forgotten because of their superior competence and honesty in managing the troubled continent.

    Now, back to beyond the world.

    [​IMG]

    With a financial injection partially sponsored by /namibia/ and mostly by Morgan Industries of Namibia, headed by CEO Nwabudike Morgan who became the wealthiest man of the world from his shrewd business arrangements with /namibia/, there was a renewed program, the Zulu Project, which obviously was going to the Mun. It should have more or less the exact delta-v to get to the Mun and back, according to very through calculations done by light kerbals with superior kerbanderthal genes the brightest minds of Afrika. Hopefully reality would confirm this.

    [​IMG]

    It flies with great stability, bringing Hellraiser towards the Mun, at least for now.

    [​IMG]

    First stage ejected. The second stage involves firing at first two solid boosters, then ejecting them and firing the other two, and finally the central one. This was not a bad idea, and no savings were made in control surfaces and a powerful reaction wheel to ensure it will always point towards the right direction.

    [​IMG]

    Perfect gravity turn. There will be one booster left once outer space is reached.

    [​IMG]

    This is turning out to be the most perfect launch and the best rocket ever made by the Afrikan Union Space Program. Now to wait for the apoapsis and let the booster do most of the job of reaching a stable orbit.

    [​IMG]

    And this time, extra life support supplies were included and Hellraiser has over one month of food, breathable air and water, just in case.

    [​IMG]

    Orbit was achieved with the booster and less than half of the tanks of the first liquid fuel stage, which will be discarded so an engine with a much better thrust-to-weight ratio can serve as the landing stage.

    [​IMG]

    The maneuver is planned correctly, and begins at one minute and half from the node. It should put the Whitewolf I in a flyby about 200,000 meters from the Mun.

    [​IMG]

    The fuel for the first liquid fuel engine stage is depleted shortly before the completion of the maneuver, and thus the more efficient engine due to superior TWR is activated for a short while. Unlike the previous stage, it will sequentially eject four fuel tanks in two future stages to maximize its TWR.

    [​IMG]

    The first part is completed, at last! Trying to pull this with a 3rdworld grade tracking station was ultimately a very bad idea, and the previous version of the Whitewolf had less Delta-v than this one as well, so maybe it was for the best it missed the Mun.

    [​IMG]

    This is a great day for Afrika! Finally, after so many grueling contracts, so many sacrifices, the great moment, the great equalizer, the day Afrika has reached the Mun! Now comes the real challenge: to land there. To maximize efficiency, the landing is planned in a way that will put the Whitewolf I into one of the areas of the Mun there are survey contracts to be done over.

    [​IMG]

    Now it is only a matter of not fucking this up. There is still plenty of fuel for this.

    [​IMG]

    Time to stop all horizontal velocities.

    [​IMG]

    Ejecting empty tanks and entering new fuel stage.

    [​IMG]

    Mistakes cannot be made during deceleration. The rocket scientists who designed this gave very little leeway for wasting too much Delta-V, but for now it seems it will have enough to land and for the return trip.

    [​IMG]

    The completion of this survey mission alone already paid up all the launch costs.

    [​IMG]

    But the current trajectory was heading down to the slope of a crater, and thus Hellraiser decided to maneuver the lander away from it and hopefully somewhere much less steep.

    [​IMG]

    The greatest feat, the greatest day is at hand! Project Zulu is about to succeed!

    [​IMG]

    Touchdown!

    [​IMG]

    The first Afrikan to ever step on the Mun. The greatest small step of all times.

    [​IMG]

    On the plaque of the proud flag of the Afrikan Union, which against all odds finally achieved such distant dream, were the words:

    "Dedicated to Ulminati, Data4, Modron, tindrli and Whitewolf, who gave their lives for the advancement of our peoples."

    :salute:


    Now, it is time to return home. Sadly the infrastructure of the Kinshasa Space Center is far from close to that of KASA during its days of glory, and there was no technology to analyze off-planet soil samples or the likes. Yet, many scientific progresses would come to Afrika from the discoveries and achievements in this great day.

    [​IMG]

    On the way back to a stable orbit, there will be a flyby to the other survey contract as well, to finish this perfectly.

    [​IMG]

    Godspeed.

    [​IMG]

    All survey contracts on the Mun were finished, yielding great financial and scientific rewards. Now it is time to head back home.

    [​IMG]

    After escaping from the sphere of influence of the Mun and realizing that the fuel was running out, a not too risky aerobraking maneuver began.

    [​IMG]

    There will be no deaths from reentry ever again! No!

    [​IMG]

    But the landing legs did not survive the scorching heat, and many more times this would have to be repeated to save fuel.

    [​IMG]

    Until Hellraiser got bored and decided to hope there was enough fuel left to do this faster.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly he was wrong, and now this eccentric suborbital trajectory would carry on and on over tense days, for there was no way to know whether this was the death sentence of Hellraiser or not until the final pass through atmosphere happens.

    [​IMG]

    After many days circling around the planet and decelerating in always tense aerobraking, the moment of truth has come. Will Hellraiser die like Whitewolf, or will he return home to be hailed as a hero of all Afrikan peoples?

    [​IMG]

    The smaller heat shield may be a problem, this will be a rough descent. Hold tight.

    [​IMG]

    Sheeeit! Mountains in sight! Hopefully this will not land anywhere close to elevated landscapes.

    [​IMG]

    Don't panic! That was not the parachute! Even as the ablative shielding in the smaller heat shield depleted, the flight computer was surviving so far. Just some more dozens of seconds, it has to hold on!

    [​IMG]

    Great! The worst of the reentry is over, but...

    [​IMG]

    Pull up! Generate more drag to decelerate, quick!

    It was less than 5,000 meters when finally the velocity went down enough for a safe activation of the parachutes. This was a close call, but nonetheless.

    [​IMG]

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    :kfc: :outrage: :outrage: :kfc:

    [​IMG]

    THIS IS OUR NEXT GOAL! THIS IS WHERE WE WILL TRULY PROVE TO THE WORLD A NEW ERA HAS BEGUN FOR AFRIKA, AN ERA OF ENLIGHTENMENT, PROGRESS AND SCIENCE! WE ARE GOING TO DUNA! BELIEVE!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
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  16. Modron Arcane

    Modron
    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    3,891
    Not for lack of trying, its like KASA only hires the most suicidal drunks.
     
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  17. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    6,004
    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    A kreat day for all of kerbalkind!
     
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  18. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,872
    Location:
    Dragodol
    and Hellraiser did took some photos

    [​IMG]







    I hope that there will be aliens
     
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  19. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    The best moment to attempt reaching Mars Duna is far away, and having a satellite network helps a lot in the long term. There will be updates to the ETA for the transfer window to Duna in every post before the actual manned mission to it. This one in particular will deal with the beginning of the development of a comprehensive orbital communications network and the hassles it involved because of the fact a direct line of sight with either Mission Control within the range of the probe's best transmitter or another satellite that has such line of sight and a spare transmitter with enough range to communicate with the other one is needed lest you lose control over the probe because that is how unmanned stuff works in reality and why Kwanzania is thankful Iran cannot into anti-satellite missiles of the RemoteTech mod.

    Show Spoiler
    I really have a talent for killing every Codexian pilot and alt-pilot.

    :M


    I'm totally going to attempt doing something like what the image just below shows.

    And there will be a vote in this update, which unlike in the last one which had choices, will actually matter.

    Let's go to page 3 and more recruits still needed because damn hardcoded professions are hardcoded and so far most are not ending as pilots. Those who lost already may apply for alts too by bumping this thread and asking for them.

    ==============================

    [​IMG]

    Satellite Rain

    Soundtrack: Interstellar - Extra

    "Afrika cannot depend forever on foreign orbital communications infrastructure. From bottom to top, we will have our KPS, vast arrays capable of allowing signals to go to the farthest reaches of our solar system, and complete independence in advanced, space age technology."

    -- Neil deGrasse Kyson​

    [​IMG]

    For the sake of more funds, while spaceplanes remain limited to relatively low altitude atmospheric flight because designing an orbital spaceplane remains totally impractical and if possible at all potentially suicidal with the existing technology, some surveys that involve no landing are done. tindrli Jr, 11th son of TIndrli also has a chance to gain some flight experience, including flying dangerously close to mountains in Afrika.

    [​IMG]

    While crossing the Kobi desert on the way to the areas that must be surveyed, some strange rocky formations(or is that some water springing from an oasis buried in the sand or the leftover of an inland sea?) are spotted in what appears to be a very ancient asteroid impact site. An interesting sight amidst a boring trip.

    [​IMG]

    And with the currently deactivated two outermost fuel tanks, there is more than enough fuel left for the return trip, which happens without trouble, and in the end a landing almost in the dirt "spaceplane" landing strip succeeds. This will hopefully be the last survey in Kerbin, for much better opportunities are available and the financial situation is currently very good, unlike with some of the darkest hours of the Afrikan Space Program.

    [​IMG]

    In an unmanned and 100% recoverable atmospheric rocket powered by the experimental Mainsail engine, another contract is achieved, and then 24 parachutes are activated and the Test vehicle lands gently and in one piece.

    [​IMG]

    With all the SCIENCE gained lately, the most logical next step was of course BIGGER, BETTER BOOSTERS, because in rocket science, size matters. Furthermore, putting a spacecraft with a Mainsail engine into a stable orbit without an equally big booster would be much more difficult, and that was one of the pending contracts of the Afrikan Union Space Program.

    [​IMG]

    This looks pretty good, but will it orbit nicely? It features two communication systems, a shorter range(500 km max) and always on omnidirectional antenna and a very long range (50,000 km) retractable antenna with a limited cone(45 degrees) that is also very power hungry.

    The launch goes well, perfect, without incident, the Mainsail does the rest perfectly, its excellent TWR making up for its hunger in fuel, and things were good. It was understood that as soon as this unmanned test vehicle lacked a line of sight with the Mission Control it would be drifting, but control could be reestablished later.

    [​IMG]

    But a grave mistake may have doomed this to be nothing more than a waste of money: two power hungry, superfluous very long range communication antennas were turned on, and they ate all the meager electricity its solar panels generated, making it impossible to control the same. Damn! A second one will have to be launched. Fortunately there will still be profit from this contract despite this completely stupid mistake.

    [​IMG]

    And another fuckup! The engine stage was activated too soon and in panic, the heatshield was ejected and the parachutes set for immediate activation upon the minimum atmospheric pressure. Therefore any attempts to bring it back for recovery can be forgotten.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately as it passed in a position where its solar panels were most efficient, contact was reestablished with the initial Mainsail Orbital Test Vehicle, making the failed second launch which was then attempted to be shoved into a satellite contract, where it also failed due to loss of communication with mission control because of the distances involved being beyond the range of its antennas. At least with the reward given for this successful test, the overall result was positive regardless of the other failure. Attempts to control these unmanned vehicles were rife with error because of the window of control being limited by line of sight with the KSC, and in the end they had a pretty simple fate.

    [​IMG]

    The Kessler syndrome was long understood, and being well aware of it, the Afrikan Space Program developed the most advanced self-destruction technology of the entire world, big red buttons that would make all Stereotypical Villains envious and would reduce all debris to mostly harmless dust. An entirely new vehicle was designed to fulfill an equatorial satellite contract.

    [​IMG]

    And not unlike the previous, disastrous attempt to put a satellite into orbit, this one also ended with nothing but a satellite raining down from the skies in pieces.

    [​IMG]

    Instead of having parallel boosters like the previous disaster, which Somali designers also forgot to attach external fuel ducts from the radial tanks of the final engine stage to the central one in a great display of stupid, this one had only two solid fuel boosters, stacked one above the other, and to ensure excellent flight stability because the maximum thrust of the first stage was overkill for the mass of this vehicle, adjustments were made as well.

    (Actually it might be a lot more efficient to always use those Kerbodyne boosters with reduced thrust because they have a better atmospheric ISP - fuel efficiency for rockets - than the lower tech boosters)

    [​IMG]

    Sadly a multitude of launch attempts, both to the equatorial and synchronous orbits, ended in failure after failure because of how limited the window of unmanned control was. Ultimately, it became obvious a manned mission was necessary to ensure the success of satellite deployments because the communications infrastructure in Afrika still is so precarious only the KSC has anything capable of receiving efficiently signals from outer space.

    (Maybe I should have installed a mod that adds multiple communication infrastructure centers spread all over the planet - ground dishes, ground antennas, etc - but this is more FUN )

    [​IMG]

    To support a manned orbital satellite transport vehicle, more aerodynamic batteries would be very useful as well.

    [​IMG]

    And so, the first pilot of the Kodex Krew for a long time will have his first orbital flight. Hopefully this will go nicely. This design was almost identical to the unmanned version, except it had two detachable satellites that would be detached once they were close to the requested orbits by the contracts, and two extra radial fuel tanks for the tiny yet powerful enough liquid engine and of course, just in case, about 36 days of life support supplies as well. Hopefully this will have enough to get into orbit.

    [​IMG]

    It flew with excellent stability. Considering the similar unmanned version also did, it was expected to work too.

    [​IMG]

    But only two boosters? Maybe this was not such a great idea.

    [​IMG]

    The lightweight yet strong liquid fuel engine this transporter had was not strong enough to defy gravity, and the entire vessel began to go down. Because all the satellites it carried were ejected, Satellite Rain!

    Shit! Time to prepare for activating the parachutes and hope there will be no death, for a change.

    [​IMG]

    This does not look good at all.

    [​IMG]

    Phew! Tindrli Jr is alive and the final stage was retrieved in one piece.

    Problem: Boosters didn't get it into orbit

    [​IMG]

    Solution: MORE BOOSTERS!!!

    And the large lateral winglets were removed because it was estimated they would provoke instability and increase drag rather than improve stability and reduce drag.

    [​IMG]

    This time it is going to work!

    [​IMG]

    This time the boosters alone will almost do the entire work of getting it into a stable orbit!

    [​IMG]

    And that was exactly what the boosters did, putting the improved Zulu-Selassie Satellite Launcher into a near stable orbit with a periapsis of almost 17 km that could be easily increased by the lightweight liquid fuel engine with very little Delta-v.

    [​IMG]

    Before activating the final engine, in another of this design's clever innovations, all the nose cones were ejected to further improve thrust-to-weight ratio. This may sound pointless, because a nosecone weighs "only" 100 kg, but there were 7 of them, 0.7 tons of weight. The extra weight of the decouplers matters little when flying with three big boosters, but a lot when flying with an engine that has only 30 kN of maximum thrust but weighs only 100 kg.

    [​IMG]

    First fancy Keuropean last name I don't care about remembering orbital transfer maneuver happens and there is plenty of fuel left.

    [​IMG]

    Second maneuver completed, but a minor angular alteration is needed to get into the right orbital position.

    [​IMG]

    Once the satellite transporter is in the correct orbit for the contract, the first satellite is readied for detachment, its main long antenna activated and programmed to be pointed towards mission control. Sadly this might be useless for anything other than fulfilling the contract, and maybe Tindrli Jr should have waited in the elliptical orbit just for a longer while until his vessel was very close to being exactly above the KSC during the apoapsis, ensuring a synchronous orbit for the satellite that will always be in contact with the Space Center.

    [​IMG]

    But this was worth over 60k of funds, almost enough to make up for the earlier failed launches, and there is enough fuel to position a second satellite too, so who cares?

    [​IMG]

    It was then that Tindrli Jr, who may have been under influence of some smuggled drugs onboard his spacecraft, pressed the wrong button for separating the other satellite from his vessel, and instead of that, he ejected a still not empty fuel tank which has a big yellow duct transporting fuel to the engine, and liquid fuel passing through a barely protected duct that will be yanked away from the craft with extreme force + explosive radial decoupler =

    [​IMG]

    The son, like the father, will never be forgotten.

    tindrli Jr, died in a freak decoupling accident. Helped Afrika become independent in advanced communications technology.

    :salute:

    (I pressed space by mistake instead of right clicking and manually decoupling the last satellite as I intended this to work like. I'm probably beating or close to beating all records of death tolls in all games that allow characters to be renamed ever LPed in the Codex Playground

    :M )

    [​IMG]

    Some suspected poor positioning of the external fuel ducts was also to blame for the most recent tragedies and fixes were made to improve decoupling safety, while a very big red sign was placed inside the command pod with the words: "WARNING: DO NOT DECOUPLE ANY FUEL TANK BEFORE CONFIRMING THE SAME IS COMPLETELY EMPTY" was also added. Because all of the Kodex Krew remaining, including the newest engineer Bastard4, were not pilots, Fromal was called to carry on, for once all satellites are deployed, without a pilot there would be no SAS, and without SAS atmospheric reentry would mean suicide.

    [​IMG]

    This time it did not merely work. A better atmospheric ascension maneuver and gravity turn allowed for the solid boosters alone to get it into a stable orbit. A long radial acceleration with the liquid engine was needed to get it into the necessary inclination for the newest synchronous orbit, one planned to ensure this satellite would always face the KSC, no matter how long it would be necessary to wait for the optimal position.

    [​IMG]

    Some days after the inclination and Kommissar Holtman transfer maneuver half done(that is the formal name for this obital transfer maneuver, right?) the Zulu-Selassie was finally almost exactly above Mission Control, and this was the time to finish this maneuver and drop the satellite.

    [​IMG]

    The first backbone of an yet arduous and far away Afrikan global orbital communications network is done, Mission Control confirms they have succesfully established contact and remote control with this satellite, and hopefully more contracts involving synchronous or stationary orbits will show up, so that Afrika can both build a vast array of communications satellites and profit from doing so by sharing such satellites with subsidiaries of Morgan Industries, the number one private investor in this space program.

    [​IMG]

    The satellite transporter had enough fuel to also drop the second satellite in its position, and for now it could be remotely controlled, but during some points in its orbit it would lose contract with the KSC because of how far away it was, almost sharing an orbit with the Mun.

    [​IMG]

    Because there was a contract to gather scientific data from the Mun, a maneuver was made to both do a flyby of the Mun, take a crew report and an EVA report during the flyby, and use the gravity of the Mun to save fuel by putting the vessel in a lower orbit once it leaves the Mun's sphere of influence.

    After sighting the Mun, maneuvers were made to reduce the orbit to a very low and circular one, and then a final maneuver reduced the periapsis to 20 km, the recommended one for reentry. The engine of this vessel could resist temperatures somewhere above 1000 degrees, so maybe it would resist reentry, but if it doesn't, the command pod has its own heat shield and the parachutes are well protected by the same.

    [​IMG]

    Don't panic, this is perfectly safe! Really!

    [​IMG]

    The engine and the fuel tank didn't survive, but the pod was still in one piece.

    [​IMG]

    Mission accomplished! The darkest hour of near bankrupcy of the Afrikan Space Program is now almost a forgotten, distant memory as the latest successes(mostly) have increased dramatically the funds available for the program, thanks in no small part to the patronage of CEO Nwabudike Morgan as well.

    [​IMG]

    The synchronous satellite with the Kinshasa Space Center occasionally had its signal lost. It was realized it was positioned in a suboptimal arrangement for its solar panels to draw as much energy as possible, thus the reaction wheels were used to correct that. The more satellites like this one are placed in orbit, the less difficult future unmanned launches will be.

    [​IMG]

    A very generous mission, with forwarded funds of 400k and a very good reward as well for testing an experimental orbital aeroponics farm module, which the contract luckily did not demand any person inside for the test. But this launch vehicle would serve an extra purpose because sending it back to the surface would be completely impractical. All maps of the world Afrika had were second-handed from Keurope or elsewhere. They never truly made a complete map with their own sensors. Now this would change, and maybe there was a point to gain from doing the same in the Mun eventually. With the newest in rocketry technologies a bigger but quite fuel efficient liquid fuel engine was chosen for the final stage of this big unmanned space station. With its mass being not much bigger than that of the Zulu-Selassie satellite transporter, the same booster arrangement was also reused in it.

    [​IMG]

    While it took some passes for the Mission Control to have a direct line of sight to the vessel while it was at the desired altitude for this test, everything went well, and now it was the time to maneuver it towards its other objective: mapping the topography of the Afrikan homeworld with pinpoint accuracy. The optimal altitude for that was 100 km, and thus some maneuvers were made every time it could be remotely controlled, until all was set.

    [​IMG]

    Initiating topographic mapping of Kerbin.

    From the humble, simple, cheap Tropospheres to this was truly a great technological leap forward. As for Duna, all scientists claimed this was not the right time, not the correct transfer window to travel to there, because it would take a while before both planets were at the right positions to make this long journey cost the least in Delta-v and take least in time to be concluded. This ETA was already being tracked and it's still many months away. It was hoped everything would be ready once the time was right. Many weeks were spent with the mishaps from the earlier attempts to set up the first communication satellites, but now everything is going finely.

    It was believed building a practical closed loop, self-sufficient life support system in a permanent base on the Mun first was an important milestone to ensure a journey to Duna would succeed and not be an one-way trip. There was also the matter of a newly discovered resource named Karbonite which Morgan Industries was particularly interested at, and it could be extracted from the Mun or better yet: from the very low gravity Minmus, where it could be refined into fuel or even drinkable water and breathable air with the proper machinery, thus there were also proposals for a permanent Karbonite extraction and refinery base in Minmus with a self-sufficient life support system in excess of the needs of its crew, so it could both fuel and restock life support supplies of manned vessels heading towards interplanetary missions.

    Alternatively, that Karbonite extraction and refinery base could be completely unmanned so it would be easier to set up, but that would also require many more satellites with antennas having superior maximum ranges than the existing ones to ensure it could be controlled remotely, and the lag in that control would be very serious too. All still speculation of course, and having a comprehensive array of communication satellites in synchronous orbit to Kerbin was a more immediate goal to be achieved.

    [​IMG]

    The first 100% Afrikan 100% accurate world map had its equatorial part completed. With a few angular shifts slightly towards the poles this single vehicle could do a lot more without wasting any fuel for now.

    [​IMG]

    Umbra Space Industries was acquired in a hostile takeover by Morgan Industries shortly before the formation of the Afrikan Union, and the vested interested of CEO Nwabudike Morgan in the success of this space program was one of the reasons such contracts were so generous. For the moment there are no concerns about the financial future of the Afrikan Space Program. From less than 5 bucks... funding has climbed now to over 1 million!

    :kfc: :kfc: :kfc: :kfc:

    [​IMG]

    While some of the three satellites that more or less had a shot of working stayed disconnect for days, it seemed all of them could be useful. One orbital test of an aeroponics farm redirected for topographical research, three communications satellite. This was the small beginning of the moment Kwalifornia would be forgotten as the #1 source of businesses involving communication satellites and theirs launches. Soon Afrika in general and Morgan Industries in particular would corner the communications satellite market, and the +1.2 million current budget signaled a very bright future ahead, paved by half a dozen of lives that would not be forgotten. Bright future unless things start to suddenly have a very wrong turn of course.


    With all the budget available and the recent technological advances, the Afrikan Space Program finally had the conditions to attempt much bolder maneuvers, although initially an all encompassing array of satellites in synchronous orbit would be launched. Which should be the next goal as the clock ticks for the great mission to Mars Duna

    1) Construction of a permanent, manned base in the Mun* capable of producing its own food, synthesizing and recycling its internal atmosphere and water supplies, and maybe extracting and refining Karbonite too, although the gravity of the Mun might make the latter less efficient compared to Minmus.

    2) Construction of a permanent manned Karbonite refinery* on the surface of Minmus shortly after or in combination with the first manned mission towards it.

    3) Construction of a permanent unmanned Karbonite refinery* on the surface of Minmus. Will need more satellites to work.

    4) Development of a Single Stage to Orbit or as few stages as technologically plausible to orbit reusable spaceplane for transporting satellites in larger batches, and therefore more efficiently than the currently booster-based transporters. WARNING: Deadly Reentry makes Spaceplanes 100 times more FUN than vanilla


    *Intensive research towards docking ports and a millionaire investment in the R&D facility infrastructure(which are actually affordable right now) may be required.

    *edit: added option 4
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
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  20. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,138
    Location:
    Over there.
    2.

    Start getting that interplanetary support infrastructure up and running ASAP. You can also make money off of fuel if you can figure out a way to safely return full or partially filled tanks from the refinery back to Kerbin. The logistics hub can be used to fill empties in Minmus orbit if you don't want to deal with the tedium of ferrying it back and forth from the surface. Just set up a little tank farm at the refinery.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
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  21. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    6,004
    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    2

    We must settle other worlds to ensure that the afrikan peoples will always have place to go.
     
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  22. Modron Arcane

    Modron
    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    3,891
    Add one more for 2.
     
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  23. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
    2. The Spice Karbonite must flow!
     
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