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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. hostergaard Educated

    hostergaard
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    I volunteer to take part in the spess program. For the glory of Afrika!

    Also;

    2.

    Don't know what option 1 has to offer over 2.
     
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  2. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dragodol
    i said 4
     
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  3. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
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    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
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  4. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,138
    Location:
    Over there.
    I wonder if the Bangometer scales the science gained by the size of the impact. The default seismograph will already generate science based on impacts, but I think its capped. I usually put a probe body on my transfer stage to, e.g., the Mun, and after I land, I crash it. The seismograph will pick up that impact.
     
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  5. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
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    5,138
    Location:
    Over there.
    Is Afrika still Duna-bound?
     
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  6. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
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    Vault City
    It was Kraken bound. Three missions ate by ridiculous physics bugs which included phantom acceleration driving a spacecraft in escape trajectory out of the sun and driving another one in crash course with the Mun, and worst of all, ruining a 200k+ investment in starting the Minmus mining operations to really drive the last nail.

    Forget Ironman. Failing because of ridiculous bugs isn't cool at all, specially on Career mode. I'm totally using a backup from Kerbal Alarm Clock before whatever corrupted the save file to doom every vessel to tear itself apart.
     
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  7. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,103
    Location:
    Danzig, Potato-Hitman Commonwealth
    They really need to fix those. Although I found some ways to work around those.

    If you are not already setting up KAC alarms before SoI change on any vessel then start doing so. I am a bit impatient so I set the alarm to 20-30 second before the SoI change. Always slow down to 5x warp at most when approaching a SoI change. Either jump to vessel (not recommended on solar trajectories due to kraken risk) or observe the change from the tracking station/orbital view from another vessel.

    Not sure if there's another bug or it was just a secondary Kerbin encounter after leavin the SoI, but I once jumped to a probe approaching Eve SoI only to realize it's on some silly orbit with an apoapsis in the midpoint between Eve and Moho orbits. Nowhere near fucking Eve.

    If the vessel gets eaten by the kraken when you load it (infamous black screen and black navball with NaN velocity), close the game with alt+f4, restart, go to the tracking station, timewarp while within the tracking station until the vessel changes SoI. If you need to do something before the SoI change, well sometimes time warping and then jumping to the vessel helps. But overall solar orbits seem to be exclusively susceptible to this bug and only those with an SoI change (Hohmann Kraken).

    They will fix the whole SoI change fucking up trajectories issue in 1.0 fortunately. I hope the infamous "you get an encounter only by timewarping and Tylo flings you out of the system despite normal speed telling you that won't happen" also gets fixed by whatever fix they implemented. It should since they changed how the vessels position is calculated during time warp.

    Also I recommend NEVER using Karbonite parts as the root part of a vessel. They work on launch but the vessel loader gets some bug whenever you switch to it after the first load. It results in the root part being the only visible one, the vessel being uncontrollable and the scene being fucked up in various ways both graphically and gameplay-wise.

    Nowadays I just hyperedit shit if the kraken eats it. Also encountered some bug that just eats vessels in stable orbits.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
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  8. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,138
    Location:
    Over there.
    In addition to what Hellraiser said, I would highly advise against using Tweakscale on a heavily modded install. I use a stupid amount of mods, so I don't know which one(s) it conflicts with, but I would get the zoom kraken, where when entering an SOI, the screen zooms out to the center of the fucking universe and everything NaN's out. Also, parts that were scaled up would suddenly go back to original size, ultimately leading to ship disintegration. I mainly used tweakscale on engines and tanks, so I've started using Procedural Parts exclusively for the fuel tanks, and have assembled a collection of engines from mods like KW Rocketry, Novapunch, etc. to cover the various sizes and thrust ratings I need. All cylindrical tanks from mods like that, I delete to save RAM.

    Not sure if you're using Tweakscale, Cassidy, but I figured it's worth passing this along.
     
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  9. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    I don't have any of those mentioned mods. It was not during a SOI change but in the middle of the periapsis of a very eccentric orbit after leaving Minmus. I began to decelerate it for the sake of circularizing that orbit into a LKO for an eventual reentry and suddenly the vessel stopped responding and began to accelerate prograde ridiculously fast. As for the Mun collision, it was the same thing, minus eccentricity of orbit. This must be some kind of uncommon Kraken.

    In any case, 118 images I divided in two updates I'd rather not double post. Sadly none of you got in as pilots yet. Fortunately engineers and scientists will no longer just sit down and wait in the Astronaut Complex.

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

    [​IMG]

    Preparing to Kolonize Minmus

    "We estimate that during the next century most of Kerbin's industries will be moved off-planet to Minmus and other satellites. Many of our industries will benefit greatly from the low gravity environments available in space, particularly those involving genetically engineered microbes."

    -- CEO Nwabudike Morgan​

    [​IMG]

    Another suborbital test completed, but its survivability was poorly planned.

    [​IMG]

    It was still profitable despite nothing from it surviving reentry.

    [​IMG]

    New applicants join. They are the scientist hostergaard and the engineer and bastard son of Data4. Both will be eventually needed, and specially for the ambitious goal of establishing a mining colony in Minmus, multiple and capable engineers will be necessary to ensure such colony will work instead of going down in a horrible way like it was predicted from the Kutch scam known as Duna One had it happened instead of being more bullshit than the most obvious Kigerian scam.

    [​IMG]

    While it is very unlikely this design has enough fuel reserves to be able to do contracts on the Mun, then land on Minmus and make a return trip and this was not the primary, largest planned manned mission to the distant satellite, this is how this long term project would begin, with a small manned spacecraft achieving orbit in the same after doing some stuff the Afrikan Union Space Program was offered money for, and in Minmus a satellite will be dropped in a polar orbit to scan for Karbonite reserves and chart the topography of the same besides fulfilling a contract, for this mission will be more than just a matter of prestige, it will be the beginning of a new phase in space exploration: the eventual practicality of space economics, the creation of something that will stop being a moneysink... eventually.

    [​IMG]

    During the launch, the planetary survey camera placed on top of it didn't survive the heat and aerodynamic stresses and shattered apart.

    [​IMG]

    And to make things even worse, it began to spin out of control through most of its ascent, for a singular mistake was made by Fromal, who should only have activated the second booster stage once this spacecraft was completely away from the atmosphere. Fortunately, there was plenty of fuel left to prevent a disaster.

    [​IMG]

    Still, two tanks were already consumed to salvage this terrible launch, and now there was no room for any further mistakes.

    [​IMG]

    While it seemed a bad idea and the transfer to the Mun emptied more two tanks , the budget would soon become tight, for a huge investment was needed to startup something as daunting as a mining outpost beyond the world. It was estimated there would be enough for Mun and Minmus in this, but aerobraking would be necessary in the return trip.

    [​IMG]

    Once the Mun was reached, it became obvious a complete orbital inversion was necessary to fulfill the a nice contract about putting a satellite on the Mun. More fuel was burned, perhaps this would prove itself a great mistake, but now there was no turning back.

    [​IMG]

    Another day, another contract.

    [​IMG]

    The journey to Minmus did cost a lot of fuel, but perhaps there is still a chance of having enough to return.

    [​IMG]

    While his vessel will never have enough fuel for a landing after all the shit that went horribly wrong during this mission, Fromal would still be remembered as the first man to approach Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    Because of how small the satellite is and how little gravity it has, maneuvering around it costs much less fuel compared to the Mun, and thus, the mapping satellite is dropped to commence the charting of this ball of ice and rock.

    [​IMG]

    There was, luckily enough fuel for an aerobraking maneuver, and that better decelerate it enough because the life support supplies will not last much longer. However, when Fromal should be decelerating due to his vessel touching Kerbin's atmosphere...

    [​IMG]

    :mhd:

    Something, a horror beyond imagination "warped" it out of real space, then back, before it could enter atmosphere and decelerate, dooming Fromal to die of asphyxiation, hunger, thirst, whichever comes first. What a shame.

    [​IMG]

    He was a good Afrikan... What a rotten way to die.

    :salute:

    [​IMG]

    But what he started, the memory of Fromal, his bravery of refusing to bail out of the mission after a critical launch failure despite the massive, these will never die. The satellite he left has completed a full mapping of the surface of the planetoid, and it also finished detecting all Karbonite reserves which will be the foundation of a space economy for the future. Sadly the wealthiest reserves hover around 6% concentration of Karbonite on the surface, mostly located in the icy flats, but it is believed 100% Karbonite reserves are very unlikely to be found anywhere as "easy" to land at as Minmus.

    :salute:

    Multiple satellite contracts were being fulfilled by a new pilot, and these satellites would be vital to eventually ensure there will be no need of using manned vessels for transporting more of them.

    [​IMG]

    This new pilot would carry on with a second manned mission to Minmus, primarily one focused on fulfilling contracts because the big one would be very costly, specially for Afrikan economical standards that will take decades to get anywhere close the former economic prosperity of the long almost post-apocalyptic doomed West.

    [​IMG]

    Unlike Fromal, by wisely not activating the second booster within atmospheric ascension and by going straight to Minmus, Jedbart succeeded and had more then enough fuel to get back to Low Kerbin Orbit without any need of risky aerobraking.

    [​IMG]

    Mining machinery for Karbonite isn't cheap. Significant investments had to be made in new technologies as well, and that kind of equipment is both expensive and heavy, which means that to get it off the planet, even bigger, more boosters will be needed, and to ensure anything can be launched regardless of weight and size, the launchpad was upgraded to one as technologically advanced and stable as that of KASA during their golden days in the past century.

    [​IMG]

    Another serious limitation could finally be solved. The satellites launched so far had pitiful energy capabilities and could never support truly long range communications in astronomical scales, their limited comm range making many of them end inoperative during many times every day. Now this will be fixed.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, another successful suborbital test that seems to be about to go down...

    [​IMG]

    In flames, for a change. Considering the reward was bigger than the launch cost, it wasn't much of a disaster for anyone but the goat herder Andhaira who lost his goats in the crash site in Kakistan.

    [​IMG]

    Being able to connect any vessel which lands near the planned base without the requirement of docking would severely facilitate the logistics of the future mining operation, and for that some simple yet very useful technologies would be employed for the first time. After the many satellite launch contracts over synchronous orbits, and considering how disastrous two of the latest manned satellite deployments ended, the Mission Control was confident the coverage of the already existing satellites was finally enough to allow fully unmanned deployment.

    (This is the point I decided that I'm not going to try modular bases without Kerbal Attachment System because landing modules perfectly aligned to each other for vanilla docking is a bitch, and I also installed Kerbal Inventory System... and finally a mod that adds an autopilot for atmospheric flights although I have yet to use it. Still hoping I will never have to grind Kerbin survey contracts again)

    [​IMG]

    A new self propelled satellite design was conceived, with much superior communication devices and solar panels than its predecessors. It was intended for a very tricky contract: a polar orbit. While the name of this unmanned craft is somewhat silly, it all makes sense: the lion is one of the signature animals of Afrika, and the poles(not to be confounded with Poles from Polant) are cold, windswept wastelands completely hostile to the same. Just like Minmus and much of this solar system. And of course it has such name because its first launch is intended towards a polar orbit.

    [​IMG]

    But because equatorial orbits take less delta-v to become stable, it was believed altering the orbit after it is stable would be better, something quickly disproven. Nonetheless, this "failed" launch would still be an useful communications relay for future unmanned vessels.

    [​IMG]

    Because the Kinshasa Space Center must be aligned with the intended orbit from the contract to ensure maximum efficiency, solar panels are extended at the launch site, and a wait begins for the right time to launch. Once it happened, the panels were again retracted. Heading south rather than east is the key for this orbit. Should the KSC be facing the exact opposite direction where it is now,, then it would be northwards. This design, with its radial lightweight engines and detachable fuel tanks beneath the engines which thrust would "pull" rather than "push", it demonstrated excellent efficiency and this engine placement almost in the same plane of the reaction wheels proved itself incredibly stable in and out of atmosphere.

    [​IMG]

    It had more than enough fuel to achieve the intended orbit, from where it would be able to provide excellent coverage for equatorial and stationary satellites without a direct line of sight with Mission Control. After this launch, the preparations were underway for the big one.

    [​IMG]

    Recent researches in construction technology made this possible. It will be a risky mission, and it will be very expensive. The Refinery Module is more exactly a Mining and Refinery Module, intended to land over one of the wealthiest depots in that distant planetoid. It will also serve a second purpose besides being the first component of the Minmus colony, because it will generate value almost immediately and will allow for the biggest manned mission ever conceived to perform a multitude of contracts while in there, refueling it whenever needed between suborbital flights. The manned part of this mission will dock to this module once both are in orbit, and the chosen engineer for this coming mission, Bastard4, will go EVA to attach struts between the docked vessels to ensure greater stability, among anything else that might be needed. This module is the heaviest thing ever built by the Afrikan Union Space Program, and the most expensive too.

    With the satellite coverage having improved much lately, the first part of this mission will be completely unmanned.

    [​IMG]

    A grave mistake in the scarcity of boosters! However, it has plenty of fuel, and maybe it can be put into a stable orbit. Otherwise, this will be a huge setback to the Minmus mission.

    [​IMG]

    Skipper engines would have worked much better and more efficiently here, but they would suck for landing on Minmus on the other hand. Obviously the greatest mistake was not adding thrice more solid rocket boosters to this launch.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately, the two "Poodle" liquid fuel engines managed to achieve a low orbit around the planet. Unfortunately there is no way this could reach Minmus with the remaining fuel after this fiasco, but it is not a lost cause. This mistake however is going to cost. Not as much as the cost of losing this entire module, but fixing this will still be quite expensive.

    [​IMG]

    And worse, ejecting the aerodynamic aids broke some of the solar panels. There goes the budget!

    [​IMG]

    To fix the mistakes of the launch of the Karbonite refinery and to serve as a future receiving point for future inbound shipments of liquid fuel and oxidizer refined in Minmus, and finally to have a stockpile of spare parts for accidents like solar panels breaking apart, this was the solution that would allow the Minmus mission to go on.

    [​IMG]

    While its number of boosters may have been overkill, being 4 Kerbodyne SRBs, 4 Rockomax BACC and 4 trash cans, it was intended to spend as little of the liquid fuel it carried as possible in this mission, for a very obvious reason.

    [​IMG]

    The launch window was well chosen, and the boosters would do most of the job of achieving a stable orbit.

    [​IMG]

    Now it is a matter of approaching the refinery correctly within orbit.

    [​IMG]

    Several maneuvers later, everything was set.

    Docking music

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I swear I did not intentionally design these two modules to resemble slightly the reenactment of an ancient Finnish tradition!

    :M

    [​IMG]

    With the Minmus Refinery Module refueled, before the launch of the crew module that would dock with it in a way that does not reminisce of anything lewd, the Polar Lion was finally in its place, from where it would be a very, very useful relay for any future unmanned probes launched towards this planet's orbit.

    [​IMG]

    The second contractual manned mission was succeeding in gathering much needed funds. The launches of the Orbital Refueling Module and of the Minmus Refinery drained the Afrikan budget to a point the Crew Module of the third manned mission to Minmus which shall also be the first to include an actual landing, and the first manned mission with a crew of 3 rather than only a lone pilot.

    [​IMG]

    The Scientist Jaedar, the Engineer Bastard4 and the Pilot Oblin Kerman formed the crew with the most dangerous, daunting and long manned mission ever conceived in the history of man. The Tindrli Crew Module, named in honor of the very first pilot of the Afrikan Union Space Program, who was to die in a freak accident in the launchpad, and also in honor of his son who died in a freak decoupling accident, was perhaps the most unorthodox spacecraft ever designed by the Afrikan Union. It was launched in a course towards the still docked refueling module and refinery.

    [​IMG]

    The lessons from the initial mistake in the launch of the refinery module were learned, and this time there were no mistakes in the quantity of boosters for this launch.

    [​IMG]

    This design is somewhat unorthodox for a very simple reason: Instead of resorting to liquid fuel in the final stage like most space rockets, to allow it to have a docking port below it where the nozzle would usually be in conventional rockets, this spacecraft uses four monopropellant main engines placed on top of its command module instead, in addition to a handful of RCS thrusters. Some scientists believe that the lower mass of monopropellant compared to liquid fuel and oxidizer makes it more efficient than the Polar Lion and Zulu-Selassie with their small yet powerful conventional engines, except none of the monopropellant tanks can be ejected once empty for safety reasons, because radial tanks would not survive reentry. weighing less than 1 ton and having a maximum thrust of 20 KN each , these monopropellant engines have a quite good thrust-to-weight ratio.

    [​IMG]

    This module, now on course to approach the refinery although it ended farther away than desired, has over 100 days of food, water and oxygen for the crew and four solar panels in what may have been overkill, except those panels will be useful once it is docked with the refinery module, because the plan is to land both at once, docked to each other, on a Karbonite-rich soil, because drills consume a lot of electricity.

    [​IMG]

    Another satellite contract is botched because the decoupler moved the satellite away from the desired orbit. This will be among the last flight of the Zulu-Selassie class for the purpose of transporting and deploying satellites, because the Polar Lion is much better than this design. Another use of the old tug however was found, one that could fix this mess.

    [​IMG]

    It is futile to attempt pushing a satellite towards the correct orbit without something to hold it tight.

    [​IMG]

    After over one day of planned intercept maneuvering, finally the crew module was at parking orbit from the vessel that would give them a ride to Minmus. But first, Bastard4 had a lot of EVA work to do.

    [​IMG]

    Another problem: Bastard4 bumped his head over the solar panel directly above the crew hatch of the module, shattering it into pieces and making it clear it was too close to the hatch. He then drifted aimless for a while, before finally regaining control and getting to work.

    [​IMG]

    First, he removed the broken and poorly positioned panel from the crew module, letting it orbit away as yet more space junk.

    [​IMG]

    Second, he cleared his own inventory, which was packed with extra batteries, connectors and a monopropellant. How Bastard4 can carry a small monopropellant tank in his inventory that is actually bigger than him is a mystery.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, he both replaced the broken panels in the Refinery Module with fresh ones stockpiled in the orbital refinery docked to it, and also added a few extra panels because this module will consume a lot of energy to perform its role, and while it has a backup Karbonite generator, the point of Karbonite is to be shipped, refined into fuel, not wasted into energy, specially because the maximum 6% Karbonite concentration in Minmus will not be enough to power that generator and leave a surplus with only two drills. In the long term, use of nuclear power is not discarded for this Minmus outpost either, but that will require a much more complex mission than this one, which already is pushing over the limits of how tall a "lander" can be because launching separate modules to land separatedly on Minmus would be probably more expensive, and increase the odds of things going wrong because more launchs = more chances of fuckups.

    Once everything useful from the stockpiles of the orbital refinery was used, it was finally undocked, and the transfer to Minmus was both close and distant.

    [​IMG]

    As predicted, once those towering vessels were docked in a vertical stack, everything began to wobble. To improve stability, Bastard4 began to attach strut endpoints to both vessels

    [​IMG]

    Maybe he should have brought a few extra endpoints, but while there was still some wobbling, disabling most of the reaction wheels except the one closet to its center of mass helped a lot, but also made this vessel horribly slow to turn around, and because of the mix of vernor RCS in the larger refinery module that used liquid fuel with the standard monopropellant based RCS of the Crew module, for the sake of saving fuel, RCS would only be used during the landing on Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, everything was ready.

    [​IMG]

    But will they manage to land a "tower" on Minmus? And in the right place rather than over a horribly steep slope devoid of Karbonite?

    TO BE CONTINUED
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
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  10. JagreenLern Erudite Patron

    JagreenLern
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,060
    Location:
    Compton, California
    MCA Project: Eternity
    I'd like to volunteer to get crushed, immolated, or asphyxiated for the glory of Africa.
     
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  11. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,138
    Location:
    Over there.
    That kid's full of surprises. :lol:

    I'm working on building an MKS colony on Minmus now. I'm just playing a science game, but I'm trying to go legit. By now, in the tech level I'm at, I'd have already sent science probes to Duna and Eve to minmax the tech tree, but this time, I'm going to do as much as I can in Kerbin's SOI before heading beyond. A permanent base/fuel depot on Minmus is my current goal.
     
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  12. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    [​IMG]

    Beyond the west: no men left behind.

    "We are no longer retracing the steps of the long declined superpowers of old in space exploration. We began with the humble Troposphere rockets, with launchpads made of dirt, and now, we stand on the edge of beginning the permanent settlement of an extraplanetary body for the first time in the history of men."
    -- Neil deGrasse Kyson.​

    [​IMG]

    While the Minmus Karbonite Refinery and the Crew Module docked to it were on their way to Minmus, another manned mission returns home in one piece. While one of the parachutes was burned due to a dumb maneuver, the remaining one was enough.

    [​IMG]

    The second manned mission to Minmus also returned safely after many days, unlike the doomed mission Fromal undertook. With this, now all attentions were towards the planned establishment of the core of the mining kolony on Minmus.

    Sphere - The Gift

    [​IMG]

    To allow a wider coverage of every possible vein of karbonite, a polar orbit was established with Minmus after some careful maneuvering by the crew of the Tindrli module. The massive vessel was preparing for landing, and there was no room for error.

    [​IMG]

    While landing somewhere on the south pole with traces of karbonite would make future landings towards the same direction easier, there was too little of the precious resource on the poles. Instead, the landing would occur in one of the near equatorial icy flats which the existing orbit would fly over according to SCANSat. Careful planning would be required to keep up with the rotation of the planetoid to ensure a correct landing.

    (SCANSat is very, very useful for landings)

    [​IMG]

    Through use of the map of Minmus, a course was plotted that would descend upon one of the wealthiest veins of karbonite, in concentrations around 6%. Maneuvering the massive spacecraft was complicated, and eventually things would become very hectic. The three brave astronauts were already more or less above their intended destination, but some course corrections would be needed.

    [​IMG]

    To their east, the concentrations of karbonite are somewhat better. Eventually there will be no more room for maneuvering in an attempt to land upon one of the optimal sources of the vital resource.

    [​IMG]

    With great difficulty, the maneuvering to alter the landing course succeeded, but liquid fuel was running out. Now there was no turning back. Either the monolithic spacecraft would land on the correct spot, or all would be lost. RCS were finally activated because of how difficult it was to shift the heading of it quickly enough considering it was going down and mistakes would be very deadly.

    [​IMG]

    Despite everything that could go wrong the hardest part of the landing was already successfully accomplished and while the liquid fuel could run out before touchdown, that was not really a problem, because there was a backup source of thrust in this vessel should that happen, and to take no chances, the monopropellant engines were activated to assist the two "Poodle" liquid engines in decelerating the vessel in this final stage of this tricky landing, and supposing nothing goes wrong in the last moments of this landing, it would be a day to be forever remember in the entire history of men.

    [​IMG]

    Almost there.

    [​IMG]

    Landing over a perfectly plain surface of pure ice, Jaedar, Bastard4 and Oblin have become the very first men on Minmus, on the first manned space mission with economic potential in addition to scientific and prestige potential.

    [​IMG]

    On an almost forgettable detail, there was a little setback. Bastard4 affixed strong foundations to the icy soil to further help holding the refinery module in place, but none of the available attachment devices in the inventory of the module stockpiles could be used to plant it firmly to the ground. Fortunately, the minimal gravity of Minmus and the perfect flatness of the terrain where the landing happened mean this would be nothing but a footnote for future Historians reporting on this achievement perhaps far greater than the first Afrikan manned mission to the Mun.

    [​IMG]

    STRIKE THE EARTH!

    Few regions in Minmus are as rich in Karbonite as the one where the module successfully landed. Furthermore, while how much of that ice is water ice rather than ice from something that only someone wanting to commit suicide would drink is unknown, being on top of a thick layer of ice will nonetheless be very useful once the first permanent settlers arrive, but that will be even more complex than this, except that it will probably not be as complicated compared to this mission because mining gear is heavier than the individual modules that have yet to land nearby, and with the amount of satellites currently deployed all over Kerbin sphere of influence, and still being deployed, the deployment of future modules will not necessarily need to be manned like this mission.

    [​IMG]

    Truly a great achievement, a much more impressive picture for the history books as well, the three standing ahead of the massive mining and refinery module as it extracts karbonite from the icy soil, . The plate on the flag honored Fromal, Tindrli Jr and thanked Morgan Industries for their sponsorship of the space program. They would not return immediately because they do not have the fuel for that, and their mission was not yet over. There were contracts they could do and as long as they were not too far away from the refinery, they had "unlimited" fuel for all of them.

    (And I deeply regret not adding a thermometer to the crew module)

    [​IMG]

    While the three astronauts celebrated their achievement and watched the sunset, a less prestigious but still important mission, the orbital fix of a satellite's orbit on the Mun for the sake of a contract, followed by a second Mun landing for a temperature scan contract, was about to begin.

    [​IMG]

    Replenishing the monopropellant tanks of the crew module would take a while.

    [​IMG]

    But shorter than estimated, because somehow, the solar panels were still working.

    (I have no idea why.)

    [​IMG]

    With the transmission of some crew and EVA reports, the contractual objective of this mission was achieved.

    [​IMG]

    A new technology have allowed for the mistake caused by a decoupler on the Mun to be fixed, and the tug had enough fuel to do more, to low altitude temperature scans and return without any difficulty.

    [​IMG]

    During the day, the greatest landing of the Afrikan Union Space Program so far looked even better for posters. Karbonite extraction was slow because of how this "motherlode" was 94% useless crap and 6% Karbonite, but it would work, and with enough extra drills from future modules landing nearby and being connected by a qualified engineer to the core module, the Karbelectric generator could be kept active permanently while leaving a surplus of Karbonite. However, for now the plan was to land a nuclear reactor nearby, together with habitation and life support modules for the engineers and scientists needed to keep that reactor running and enrich its depleted atomic fuel... but right now Afrika has no working nuclear reactors yet.

    Meanwhile on the Mun, there was a contract being fulfilled by that pilot called Melan, who was overeager and risked landing on the Mun. Melan became the second men to land there, and he went after two temperature readings, but he made a big mistake.

    [​IMG]

    He should never have landed, and in his stupidity, he might have doomed himself.

    [​IMG]

    Or perhaps not. And while the cynic, those who see life as cheap, would simply forsake Melan to an inevitable death, this kind of perspective was one of the reasons Afrika once was a seemingly hopeless hellhole doomed to never rise from the shit, even less rise towards the stars.

    [​IMG]

    A very high risk rescue mission was immediately sought, one that involved landing exactly on top of Melan's command pod with its grabbing unit armed to attach itself to the rescue module and take off from the Mun. Why? For a very simple reason:

    THE AFRIKAN SPACE PROGRAM LEAVES NO MEN BEHIND!

    :salute:

    [​IMG]

    Sheeeit... someone forgot to add landing lights to the rescue vessel. But the principle will not be forsaken, regardless of how hopelessly hard hovering exactly above that command pod will be in pitch black darkness.

    [​IMG]

    LEAVE NO MEN BEHIND!

    A second rescue mission to rescue both Melan and the failed rescuer will happen! The pods are obviously beyond hope, so the less difficult and less impressive to show everyone online you did it way will happen: landing a three-men module on the Mun near the two stranded astronauts, who still have several weeks of life support to carry on.

    Now, back to Minmus:

    [​IMG]

    Using the karbonite distiller of the refinery module, a large stockpile of karbonite was transformed into monopropellant and the tanks of the Tindrli crew module were finally full. Meanwhile, filling the liquid fuel tanks so it can refuel future missions of any kind caused some wobbling. It was obvious what had to be done. It was long overdue to undock both vessels, land the crew module next to the refinery and connect both through radial pipe connectors instead of this.

    [​IMG]

    Thus, Bastard4 removed all struts between the two docked vessels, returned inside the module and prayed there would be no fuckups.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately, everything succeeded. The fraction of monopropellant spent on this separation and independent landing was refilled as a test of these pipes Bastard 4 attached between the two crafts to ensure they are working as intended, and once fueled up, he disconnected the pipes and returned inside, for there were EVA reports and a single soil sample to be taken for a contract, and for SCIENCE too, of course, because the scientific worth of soil samples was quite high, even if not as high as what could be learned by reached beyond the sphere of influence of their homeworld, a goal for which this base on Minmus will help a lot in the future..

    [​IMG]

    Here goes nothing.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately this suborbital trip was a complete success and there was plenty of fuel left. Jaedar, as the scientist of the crew, went EVA for the reports to gain some field experience.

    Meanwhile...

    [​IMG]

    No men will be left behind! However, doing a mission exclusively to save stranded astronauts still alive is too wasteful, and thus this expensive rescue module will also deploy a new satellite on the Mun as requested by a new contract. It uses a "Poodle" liquid engine because of its much larger mass in the liquid fuel stages compared to anything previously launched using liquid fuel, and it has radial expendable tanks as well which decoupling proved to be dubiously designed at best, near suicidal at worst.

    [​IMG]

    Near-suicidal or not, the first decoupling of the radial tanks, long after all the solid boosters propelled it out of atmosphere, proved to work perfectly despite what it looked like in the way of spinning fuel tanks. Now, back to Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    The other contract is on the edges of the maximum range of the crew module for returning to the automated karbonite mine and refinery, but the three decided they will take their chances.

    [​IMG]

    This time landing was much better, and Jaedar would have half of his work done already because it would go down exactly beneath one of the areas requested by this profitable contract. Everything went fine and while all that EVA over kilometers of distance was quite risky, use of SCANsat altimetry was even more important during these jetpack flights.

    With all the surface analysis concluded, there was only a in-flight crew report left, and then it was the time to head back to the mine to refuel the Crew Module for the trip back home.

    [​IMG]

    The mission of these three astronauts is finally over. It is time for them to make preparations for a return.

    [​IMG]

    It was a close call, but the Tindrli module proved to have enough range for these multiple suborbital flights after all, and several adjustments of landing later, all was set.

    [​IMG]

    The Karbonite stockpiles were enough to refuel the crew module almost immediately.

    (You may have noticed something funny in the placement of the refinery. I forgot to take screenshots but I accidentally left the throttle of a joystick in the up position, which I don't use in KSP because unlike with actual flight sims or Freespace 2, KSP joystick input suffers from horrible lag for some reason. I managed to fix this mistake in time to prevent a catastrophe)

    [​IMG]

    It is time to return for the celebrations, fame and glory that awaits.

    [​IMG]

    Considering what happened last time an aerobraking maneuver from a very eccentric orbit originated from Minmus was attempted, and considering they have over three months of life support left and probably more than enough fuel to achieve a low orbit in their homeworld, they will not take any chances they do not need to.

    But there was one final EVA work for Bastard4 to do, because the docking port beneath the heat shield would never survive atmospheric reentry and it exploding could lead to all kinds of deadly trouble.

    [​IMG]

    Thus, with an electric screwdriver and other tools, the crafty engineer whose role in this mission was indeed as important as the role of the pilot, simply reattached the docking port somewhere it would be protected from the scorching heat.

    Meanwhile, back to the Mun:

    [​IMG]

    Saving two lives may not hit as many headlines as establishing the first space mine in History, but there is a much greater nobility in such deed, and it will not be forgotten. Thanks to SCANSat and the altimetry mapping of all of the Mun's equator, landing on the right spot would be much easier now.

    [​IMG]

    Should the mission fail,

    Should the rescue mission also fail,

    NO MEN LEFT BEHIND, MEN

    :salute:

    [​IMG]

    The stranded astronauts used their EVA jetpacks to travel to the landed rescue module, glad this nightmare was finally over, glad they were not forsaken despite their worst fears. Spending hours in the dark side of the Mun is something that leads even the strongest of mind to contemplate ending their lives.

    [​IMG]

    The mission the reckless Melan tried to achieve was also finally completed, and with the remaining fuel, they would return at last.

    [​IMG]

    When the Koman empire fell, new powers rose from the periphery of their rule. Once the imperialistic Western Civilization collapsed, a new power, driven not towards conquest of the lands around them, but towards the conquest of the stars, has risen from the least likely source, and great changes happened. In the last months, Afrika advanced in science and technology more than the last thousands of years of her story, ancient Egyktian civilization excepted. New advances in communications have made practical the creation of satellite relays that will allow signals from Kerbin to reach to the farthest bodies of the solar system, and launching at least one satellite with these capabilities will be very useful for a future mission to Duna, preferably in a distant polar orbit.

    [​IMG]

    The expansion of the orbital communications network of Afrika may not be as prestigious as manned missions, but it was nevertheless extremely important and extremely lucrative. stationary orbits are the trickiest, for they require lines of sight, which is one of the reasons this particular mission took longer than the usual for the satellite, based on the proven Polar Lion design, to finally get where it had to be.

    [​IMG]

    The rescue module had one final stage: monopropellant engines would be used, and they had to be used to finish the reentry maneuver. Two lives saved, several contracts fulfilled. By not arriving at the same time as the mission to Minmus, they would have their headlines too.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully not headlines about their tragic deaths considering they are currently heading towards mountains.

    [​IMG]

    Whether divine intervention, or as the skeptics like Neil deGrasse Kyson claims, a damn lot of luck, they passed over the mountain rather than into it. This design would need a serious overhaul should it ever be needed again, because of how dangerous the radial fuel tanks could be in their decoupling.

    [​IMG]

    NO MEN WERE LEFT BEHIND

    :salute:

    [​IMG]

    One of the first satellites with dishes having enough range to reach beyond Duna showed the limits of the Polar Lion design. And because the remote operators were bored and Afrika was no longer under a tight budget:

    [​IMG]

    FUCK THIS SHIT

    [​IMG]

    A fourth, less noteworthy but still important manned mission to Minmus where temperature scans from contracts had yet to be fulfilled had a very cool sight on its way: an eclipse right behind the pilot.

    [​IMG]

    "We have no need of testing nuclear bombs. Our foremost purpose is progress, peace for our future and evolution of our people. The Afrikan Union is not developing weapons of mass destruction, we are developing nuclear power for the sake of our future, because even today, regardless of unfounded scaremongering, it is the best power source available when it comes to the relation between cost-effectiveness and cleanliness, and with responsible management it also is perfectly safe. Nuclear power will support a future where our people will fully enjoy developed world life standards while preserving all the nature of Afrika where coal powerplants would destroy this continent's ecosystem." --Neil deGrasse Kyson

    [​IMG]

    Another manned mission for contracts returns home. The big mission to Minmus will be the last one to return because of the distances involved.

    [​IMG]

    After almost one month in outer space, they have returned, and now it is time to prepare themselves for atmospheric reentry.

    [​IMG]

    Never has such a great step been taken, but even as they return, the time for going even farther is drawing near.

    [​IMG]

    The lights of their craft literally burned out during reentry, but everything else is holding on so far.

    [​IMG]

    It's still too fast! Good thing there was monopropellant left to decelerate it.

    [​IMG]

    The greatest space mission so far in the entire history of this world has succeeded!

    [​IMG]

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


    Now, there are only about 52 days left before the optimal transfer window to Duna happens. With the current budget, it is unlikely but not impossible for the installation of all facilities needed in Minmus to allow a permanent settlement of the ice flats near the karbonite refinery in enough time, but not impossible(provided I don't manage to return to the epic fail mode of some past updates). Multiple long range communications satellite capable of reaching Duna are already in orbit, in preparation for the first interplanetary mission in orbit.


    1) Prioritize sending probes to scan Duna and its natural satellite in everything possible(altimetry, karbonite, etc), and shortly after, a manned mission to the same.

    2) Prioritize the creation of logistical infrastructure to import the extremely valuable karbonite from Minmus, allowing the space program to eventually become a self-sufficient, profitable enterprise that will never need to do banal shit boring contracts again, accompanied by the full kolonization of Minmus and the installment of additional pylons drills and fuel tanks together with a nuclear reactor to ensure 6/7 nonstop mining and a hope for men continued survival should ULTIMATE DOOM EXPANSION SET FOR KERBIN happen.

    3) Do both simultaneously or bust!
     
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  13. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. JagreenLern Erudite Patron

    JagreenLern
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,060
    Location:
    Compton, California
    MCA Project: Eternity
    I vote for 2. Colonization all the way.
     
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  15. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    3)

    No one ever won at KSP without being ambitious.
     
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  16. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,138
    Location:
    Over there.
    Oooh, tricky. Fuck it, go for broke. 3!
     
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  17. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
    Karbonite is harder than landing on Duna. So go for karbonite.
     
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  18. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    This was a tough one. I'm not sure if I should carry on with this game considering it's about to go gold, but all the mods I'm using that will still be relevant in 1.0 version will take a while to become fully compatible with 1.0.

    You asked for 3 - a permanent settlement in Minmus. That shit is very, very expensive, so it will take a long time for it to actually become self-sufficient. Furthermore a logistical network to bring Karbonite all the way to the KSC was a more immediate priority and it ain't cheap either. And finally, once I have enough funds to risk sending all the components needed for a self-sufficient base, I will have to fire a lot of pilots to give room for more engineers to keep that base running because I can't afford upgrading the Astronaut Complex, not at all.

    I also realized that I'll need the Docking Port Sr. to have stability for the kind of modular spacecraft of the dimensions needed to make the Karbonite economy happen in a pace that isn't horribly slow, as you will see.

    And this is the final update in this page.

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

    [​IMG]

    Orbital Logistics

    Colonial Anthem

    [​IMG]

    While a new pilot was recruited, JagreenLern would probably not have many missions this year, for budget limitations meant the Afrikan Union could only choose between having a permanent manned colony and mining operation in Minmus or a manned mission to Duna, and the choice was already made in favor of the former, because transforming space exploration into an economic activity would forever change the space program.

    The first module of the Minmus kolony, the C3 Command and Control Center, would be entrusted to Hellraiser and Bastard4, who would be the first ones to go in a journey towards a new home, at the dawn of the age of space kolonization.

    [​IMG]

    Sixteen boosters were needed to put the heaviest Afrikan rocket ever built into orbit. A tug design with four of the recently developed nuclear thermal engines, docked with the C3 Command Center. The nuclear powered tug would be reusable, with the goal of docking with the transporting modules from low orbit to the surface of Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    The first stage ended without incidents.

    [​IMG]

    Heavy, with poor thrust for their weight, yet extremely fuel efficient, the nuclear engines were started far away from the atmosphere. It would be a long way to Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    Plenty of life support was available. More than an entire year of food and oxygen for the two engineers and four months of water that could be recycled through a filter on the top of the command module.

    [​IMG]

    While the Command Module was on the way to Minmus, for the coming reuse of its nuclear tug, to take advantage of something put into orbit as part of an old contract, back when docking ports did not exist, an "adapter" was launched in an intercept course with the Training Akademy, which would be brought to Minmus so the most skilled engineers would be able to pass their knowledge to the rookies, ensuring a high efficiency once the kolony becomes operational.

    [​IMG]

    The "adapter" was successfully attached with the Training Akademy, now ready to be brought to Minmus, but first, the vessel that would transport it need to unload the current module docked to it, and the two engineers inside would need to EVA and detach several struts between the module and the tug as well, struts added in the design because of the stresses of launching two docked components from the atmosphere.

    [​IMG]

    After several maneuvers, the landing begins.

    [​IMG]

    Multiple course adjustments happen near the surface to get it as close and aligned with the central mining and refinery module as possible.

    [​IMG]

    The first objective of the Modron Transfer Module is completed.

    [​IMG]

    Bastard4 connected the recently landed Command Center with the refinery. The struts were detached and then, remotely operated, the upper module takes off shortly and lands nearby, where it is then connected through a pipe and refueled for the trip to bring the Training Akademy here.

    [​IMG]

    This was only the beginning.

    [​IMG]

    Months would be needed, for launching a second nuclear tug was out of question with the available budget.

    [​IMG]

    All existing contracts on Minmus were fulfilled in the most Kerbal way.

    [​IMG]

    Yet the pilot luckily survived such very low pass flight through an airless and very low gravity surface.

    [​IMG]

    And with the experience from the contracts and shared knowledge, finally a critical component for the plan of starting up a space based economy was ready for construction: a massive heatshield, essential for a concept of a manually controlled transport device for Karbonite.

    [​IMG]

    The Akademy will be much trickier to land on Minmus, but doable.

    [​IMG]

    While the tug was heading again towards Minmus with a new module to land near the existing kolony, a new concept besides the tried and tested MORE MORE MORE BOOOSTERS was being attempted: Multiple reusable fuel tanks to bring a massive volume of empty Karbonite tanks into a stationary orbit with a direct line of sight down to the Kinshasa Space Center. Because of its massive weight, a much more powerful engine was added to this rocket: the Skipper liquid fuel engine, which will begin lifting it in upper atmosphere.

    [​IMG]

    The separation from the boosters happened without problems. Fortunately because mistakes were unaffordable considering how expensive launching all the modules necessary for this great project would be.

    [​IMG]

    The launch was done in a very efficient manner, but the desired orbit was still far away.

    [​IMG]

    Again the Sun is eclipsed by the Mun. Fortunately the batteries of this unmanned module were just enough to outlast the eclipse.

    [​IMG]

    Another innovation, a separator finally splits the Karbonite storage from the engine that brought it in this synchronous or almost synchronous orbit. A new technology: 100% automated logistical drones, could revolutionize everything, but it was an untested technology. First it would be tested on the surface, to bring fuel from the KSC to some orbiting modules.

    [​IMG]

    The first "truck" with the logistical hub did not work very well. After several failures, it became obvious more wheels were needed for this weird jet powered automobile.

    [​IMG]

    The mistakes were corrected, but it would need to be connected to extra fuel and Karbonite tanks to serve its role well.

    [​IMG]

    Driving trucks was a bit frustrating for those hoping to go into space, but these trucks would be very important for the future of the Afrikan Space Program, for they would receive Karbonite from outer space once the logistical infrastructure was ready to deliver the precious resource all the way from Minmus to the KSC.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, for the sake of testing the Logistic drones, a jet-powered tanker because for some bizarre reason the Afrikan Space Program cannot into procuring normal big trucks.

    The tests were successful, and with the confirmation the drones work, it was time to send one of these modules up there, to dock with the Karbonite storage in its stationary orbit.

    [​IMG]

    This was in no way a cheap launch. The stakes are much higher compared to the days of dirt launchpad and Tropospheres.

    [​IMG]

    Good.

    [​IMG]

    From this finally ready space station, Karbonite will be transported to Afrika.

    [​IMG]

    But, as a proof of concept and propaganda showcase, a manual transfer of Karbonite without using the drones in atmospheric entry would also happen. It was uneconomical and very risky however, and such drop pod method would not be repeated mostly because the cost to put it into orbit is higher than the worth of how much Karbonite it can bring back down. The second purpose of this was an attempt at the first Single-Stage-to-Orbit Afrikan rocket, through the use of the mighty Mainsail liquid fuel engine beneath three massive fuel tanks. This would in the future serve as a refueling station for future SSTO spaceplanes, once they actually happen.

    [​IMG]

    The SSTO experiment would enter History. It would be the first successful one, supposing it works.

    [​IMG]

    Another proud moment for Afrika, the first successful SSTO rocket is about to leave its payload in low orbit.

    :salute:

    [​IMG]

    A second SSTO rocket was launched with a critical module for all necessary Karbonite transfers.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, the tricky landing of the Training Akademy was about to begin.

    [​IMG]

    Keeping the tug pointed towards the right direction during landing was tough.

    [​IMG]

    But it worked, and rather than having to head back home to become a two-stars engineer, Hellraiser would simply learn from the somewhat higher experience of Bastard4 who was one of the three pioneers in Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe that aeroponics module could be reused too.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly, it couldn't ,for it was exclusive for orbital stations. A new Aeroponics module would have to be launched with some inflatable agriculture modules in the future for Minmus to eventually become self-sufficient.

    [​IMG]

    To help with budget concerns, two new satellites will be put in orbit of Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    The old design is upgraded with more fuel and more boosters, of course.

    [​IMG]

    "Upgraded"

    [​IMG]

    ...

    There is only one solution:

    [​IMG]

    THRICE MORE BOOSTERS!!!

    [​IMG]

    See? It totally worked! All aerodynamic aids were also successfully ejected.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, back home, the Modron nuclear tug docked with the Karbonite transfer module and was bringing it to Minmus, where it would be fueled up. With the new satellite contracts, while a manned mission to Duna was too much risk, that did not mean the window of opportunity to reach the distant red planet would be completely wasted.

    [​IMG]

    Fremen-I, a double probe driven by two atomic engines fitted with very long range communication devices and a massive arrays of solar panels, with a ridiculous quantity of detachable fuel tanks, the tallest rocket ever constructed by the Afrikan Union Space Program. Its mission: the complete mapping of Duna and its satellite Ike. Because of the advanced sensors they carried and of the nuclear engines, these would be the most expensive probes ever launched, but having a perfect map of Duna before considering manned missions was priceless, and maybe Ike could have like 50%> Karbonite reserves instead of the meager 6% ones of Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    Excessive, ridiculously big. It did not matter. Getting to Duna without fancy docking maneuvers and launching multiple less heavy modules separatedly as any sane space program would do is not trivial. But it is a lot more awesome.

    [​IMG]

    The first stage pushes the massive rocket to the edge of atmosphere, and then it is maneuvered for a late gravity turn shortly before losing the momentum of going up, for it was literally impossible to turn it before this altitude was reached because of its massive size.

    [​IMG]

    The result of all those solid boosters was pretty good. From such high orbit making a maneuver to encounter Duna after some months would not be so hard.

    [​IMG]

    It is unfortunate a manned mission was too risky, but the transfer window is about to happen.

    [​IMG]

    It would take many months. A lot would happen before the Fremen-I probe reached its first destination. First? Of course! The Fremen-I was designed with a large surplus of Delta-V, and while going farther away from the sun will be perhaps a bad idea because of the loss of efficiency of its solar panels, it may have still enough after fully mapping Duna and Ike to get itself into another planet.

    (Could I get from Duna to Jool with this without running out of power because of the loss of solar efficiency, supposing it has fuel left for it? It's basically one gigantor for each probe. I will leave one orbiting Duna and carry on with the other. )

    [​IMG]

    While a very complex probe is on its way to Duna, another landing is happening on Minmus, this time to ship the precious Karbonite all the way back home. A pipe is connected again, everything goes well.

    [​IMG]

    The transfer of Karbonite to the surface of Kerbin just began.

    [​IMG]

    After regretting deeply the choice to not have RCS for the sake of saving fuel, finally the Karbonite transfer module was successful docked with the keostationary depot and logistics hub.

    [​IMG]

    Now the hub would be programmed to fill the empty Karbonite tank of the drop pod in low orbit while the Modron nuclear tug would head on its way to dock with the same, set it in a reentry, undock and then accelerate again into a stable low orbit while the drop pod begins reentry.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully it would look great for pictures. The tug successfully left the pod in a reentry trajectory and accelerated back to a stable orbit with more than enough leeway for the same to not end being lost in reentry.

    [​IMG]

    The heatshield proved to be exactly what was needed for this design, no more, no less. A smaller one would have failed.

    [​IMG]

    Yet unfortunately, the drop pod landed right into the middle of the mountain range west of the KSC... and it was going down still too fast.

    [​IMG]

    ...

    [​IMG]

    This whole show with the drop pod was a bad idea.

    [​IMG]

    However, with only one minor difference in the reentry maneuver, this would not have happened, but instead it would have landed safely and quite close to Kinshasa. Nevertheless, this was not how Karbonite would be sent back home. Manually landing drop pods may sound awesome, but it won't work most of the times and of course, the launch costs wouldn't be paid off by the Karbonite it would have brought, were it successful.

    Instead, two additional logistics modules would be launched, this time in a different, cheaper way involving only a handful of liquid fuel and mostly, of course, solid boosters.

    First attempt with six boosters in stages of two activated each time was a fiasco that did not even take off, fortunately, because an emergency team managed to recover it, preventing financial losses. Second time, the natural solution of doubling the number of solid boosters would fix everything, and then the nuclear tug would dock with the logistics hub, and bring it to Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    There was however one "minor" design flaw of this new logistics hub module: its engines would bring it nowhere while its solar panels were raised because they blocked the four small engine exhausts. Not something crippling, but still a sign the old Kigerian "genius" never died.

    [​IMG]

    Because its own engines were less efficient, they were disabled while the tug was bringing it where it was needed.

    [​IMG]

    The second module would serve a very interesting purpose once the first one lands on Minmus and is connected with the Kolony.

    [​IMG]

    This time the maneuver was so well done the solid boosters alone almost managed to achieve a stable if eccentric orbit.

    [​IMG]

    By the time the logistics hub touched down on Minmus, the mistake of a Kongolese who mistook the flexotubes that can be extended by engineers with unflexible, rigid docking ports because they look exactly the same was realized... taking away flexotubes from the Command Center was not a good idea. But with enough stubborness, after removing one of those docking ports and attaching it to the Training Akademy so a tricky docking maneuver can be made.

    (Unfortunately the Akademy doesn't work at all and is bugged. Am I justified to edit extra stars on engineers to simulate it working as intended in its description?)

    [​IMG]

    But before anything, the tug was separated after most of the docking while landed maneuver was done and now the most delicate segment of this would commence. As the other module had its own engines, it would be easier to do succeed this way.

    [​IMG]

    It worked... and while strangely the docking caused the two modules to climb up somewhat, nothing fell into pieces and they landed softly enough to remain unscathed. Now there will be no longer any need of landing for the sake of transporting Karbonite and fuel, only for the sake of bringing in the countless remaining modules necessary for this kolony to finally become self-sufficient.

    [​IMG]

    The Karbonite Transfer Module had docking ports above and beneath it for a reason.

    [​IMG]

    For that component would be the centerpiece of a modular Karbonite and fuel transporter.

    [​IMG]

    Note to self: don't ever refuse to add liquid fuel RCS to a tug design as a cost cutting and fuel saving measure again.

    [​IMG]

    Away from the large depot and docked with the tug, the Karbonite module will now be docked with something else, and then the tug will play a fundamental role in the startup of this space economy, because the logistical drones cannot simply transport Karbonite straight from the surface of Minmus to the surface of Kerbin.

    [​IMG]

    Almost everything is ready, but this will probably take months because a much larger, heavier and more expensive tug would be needed to make it goes faster, and more Karbonite drills on the Kolony would be needed too.

    [​IMG]

    The first shipments will happen.

    [​IMG]

    Water was less abundant in the Kolony, and so many months already passed it became necessary to activate the filter.

    [​IMG]

    This is how the startup shall work: first, fuel and Karbonite from the surface are transported by logistical drones to the Modron Transfer Module, which once filled would maneuver to escape from the sphere of influence of Minmus.

    [​IMG]

    Then, still relatively close to Minmus but out of its SOI, the Modron Transfer Module, docked with its own Logistics Hub, shall transfer as much of its resources as possible to the keostationary Karbonite and fuel depot with yet another logistics hub, the same one that has a direct line of sight to the KSC.

    [​IMG]

    Then the Modron Transfer Module would maneuver back into Minmus. Rinse and repeat until the keostationary depot is completely filled.

    [​IMG]

    A much larger Transfer Module was certainly of great need because of how sluggish this logistical infrastructure with budget and technological limitations currently is. For now contracts cannot yet be dismissed as a primary source of funding. Luckily there are two satellite contracts signed for Duna and Ike which shall greatly increase the budget once completed.

    [​IMG]

    Nevertheless, while this volume of Karbonite is worth just a few thousands and required all liquid fuel and oxidizer stored in the Keostationary depot to be brought to the surface, this was just the beginning, and it proved the viability of the Kolonization and economic development of Minmus. For the first time in History, space exploration became productive, even if the return of investment will take a long, long, long time to happen right now. With the surface logistics hub and the tanker superfluous, mute is sent to disconnect them, after which only the Karbonite big truck, ready to receive future shipments of Karbonite from outer space and refitted to become 100% remote operated, stands ready for more. Once completely full, it will bring 10k extra of funds, far from the best contract rewards, but not so bad for this humble start of the greatest enterprise upon which Afrika has ever embarked.

    TO BE CONTINUED UNLESS ALL MODS STILL RELEVANT WITHIN BECOME COMPATIBLE WITH 1.0 SOONER THAN I EXPECT
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
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  19. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Good job. These automated drones seem cool, how do they work?
     
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  20. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Over there.
    You're gonna hate me for this. Fuel gives a greater return than karbonite. Plus it's easier to transport.
     
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  21. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    Still, from my calculations, the return will remain pitifully slow throughout time it's just not worth it at all. Next time I'll just scan Kerbin for Uraninite or whatever it's called and set up an Uranium enrichment and Xenon producing facility(because enriching uranium generates xenon as a byproduct in MKS), bring xenon and uranium fuel rods to KSC through a big cargo airplane, ???, PROFIT!!!

    And if sadly Kerbin ends having no Uraninite to produce enriched uranium and xenon, I will find another way to exploit the economics of the game without literally using a cheat code.

    :M

    Also performance difference between 1.0 and 0.9 is so massive to me I'm done for the moment. I will start a new LP in 1.0 eventually.
     
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  22. thesoup Arcane

    thesoup
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    7,176
    I volunteer for spesh misshuns in the upcoming LP:salute:
     
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  23. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Over there.
    You should try it in Realism Overhaul. Or maybe smash your balls repeatedly in a car door. Either way, the experience will likely be the same. :lol:
     
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  24. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vault City
    Morgan Industries of Mexico has all answers.

    Here the actual ending for this thread, and a preview of what I'm trying to do, eventually.

    Man, how could I miss those mods? You'll see what I mean soon. I will end this up with a monologue, essentially.

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

    Epilogue

    Theme

    Sometimes I wish the world was ten times smaller just like in an interesting, long dream I had once. That would make my dream business near a hundred times more profitable. Not that it would change anything here. Even if the world was ten times smaller, the only African space rocket ever built never got past a few thousand meters high, and there would still be better ventures to be sought in this continent. Back when I was younger, I was offered a token job in the American space agency, but it was so obvious how cheap their wages were to my qualifications and how much they only wanted me to be there just to fill a dumb diversity checklist for those opportunity-hating and self hating commies, that I had to refuse. Given their recent track record of mediocrity and incompetence, it was a good decision. The Western nations' space programs are very much dead by their leftist political insanity.

    A man can always dream of reaching high enough, high enough to tap the infinite wealth fountain of the sun, to mine the platinum of the asteroids, to establish colonies to seize the opportunities of the solar system. A heat shielded drop pod worth its weight in platinum, petroleum or uranium, parachutes, reusable orbital assets. All it needs is a hefty early investment, and then ascend farther than anyone has ever gone in wealth and pride. But this early investment shall be the greatest economical challenge of Morgan Interstellar, and one of the reasons I wish the world was ten times smaller.

    Just as an example, getting a man into orbit if the world was that small would be possible with something like:

    [​IMG]

    This would cost only a fraction of the cost of the first space rocket to send a man to orbit in this world, and probably a lot more countries would have achieved such a feat as well.

    [​IMG]

    Now, I will show you a hypothetical example of the kind of hefty investment I am referring to, not considering the infrastructure and technological investments needed for an orbital flight to become practical. For political reasons, I intend to construct Morgan Interstellar Space Center in Mexico, for most of this continent remains too precarious in logistical infrastructure, which would mean even more expensive investments, however, the investments in Africa will only increase in the coming years of Morgan Industries, to cushion the risks that the corporate exploration of outer space involve.

    [​IMG]

    This example of an expendable rocket for a manned orbital tour would be over 58 times more expensive than the simplistic "toy rocket" shown before, and while in theory any dirt patch could be improvised as the launch center for the first, because the world is ten times bigger, we would also need dedicated infrastructure. While more efficient, cheaper designs can be made, this proof of concept is here just as an example

    [​IMG]

    The commercial astronaut piloting such giant of solid rockets and one very big aerospike engine would have to deal with great challenges. The sheer mass and size of this launch vehicle would severely limit maneuverability. Any tiny, almost imperceptible defect in symmetry could make it fly out of control.

    [​IMG]

    The simulation involved intentional mistakes to make a point. Yet, because this design concept was over-engineered and because of the inherent advantages of the Aerospike rocket, this was not enough of a setback that, were it to happen in reality, the mission would become a disaster.

    [​IMG]

    After over half of its tank empty, it is not even at half of the speed it needs to reach to achieve orbit.

    [​IMG]

    But it was still enough, and thus this proof of concept achieves its goal of sending a man to orbit.

    [​IMG]

    Naturally, as a disposable rocket, it is utterly uninteresting for any enterprise.

    [​IMG]

    I just wanted it to become clear, to make it clear to those of you who are laymen in this field, that while the profit opportunities I previously explained could allow even those of you who invest only enough for one percent of shares over this to eventually become wealthier in orbital assets than the entire economy of Earth.

    [​IMG]

    It will not be simple, but without ambition, there is only mediocrity, and this is our time now.

    [​IMG]

    There are no taxes in space, no regulations any bloated government can realistically enforce.

    [​IMG]

    Those who control space shall control Earth.

    [​IMG]

    And those of you who refuse to become angel investors in Morgan Interstellar shall live to envy those with the greed, need and courage to take the boldest, greatest business enterprise upon which humanity has ever embarked. I miss that dream of a mini-Earth where making wealth from space was vastly easier, but even here there is a great wealth to be harnessed from the stars, planets, moons, asteroids and all other celestial objects still beyond our reach. Today Morgan Interstellar begins, and I am offering you the chance of joining.



    THE END

    (Pretty much. I will eventually start a new thread for the new version with a lot of mods that improve the Career mode, add cool paint jobs to procedural parts, including that totally tacky purple, golden and zebra paintjob worthy of a pimp of pimps.

    :M

    Plus of course the next thread will involve the real solar system and a "lite" version of Realism Overhaul and Real Fuels, among other things.)
     
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