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In Progress Let's Play Kerbal Space Program with Real Sol

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Cassidy, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    Pluto also included. Plus a multitude of other mods that improve upon the Campaign mode, add new parts that are essential here and some to add more realism without going too far about it. It's like a "Lite" version of the mod known as Realism Overhaul, because the most important deal: a real scale replica of the Solar System 10 times bigger than the vanilla and less interesting Solar System, which also has more planets and moons to explore than Vanilla as an extra bonus, is already in. Plus a mod that allows for switching the location of the launch center, so that it could happen in the appropriate continent.

    And of course, post here if you want to have a Kerbal with your username to die horribly... eventually.

    [​IMG]

    It doesn't look as pretty as Kerbin in the previous LP of this game I did, because Astronomer's Pack/EVE for Real Sol still doesn't exist in a stable version. There is a WIP of eyecandy/clouds/etc for Real Sol it but the author decided to turn it into a closed beta because of it being too unstable. Because of the increased scale, to reduce grind, besides a mod that cuts off science grinding by making retrieved experiments always give 100% of their value in science points, I decided to this time increase rewards for missions instead of decreasing them. As you will see, even this increase will demand some seriously budget missions that sacrifice safety and efficiency for pure cheapness to turn a significant profit.

    Index
    1. The beginning of the African Union Space Program Outsourced to Morgan Interstellar(Right here)
    2. Attempting to Surpass a Technological Dark Age
    3. Probe Troubles, not to be confused with Probe Teams
    4. Morgan Interstellar Tourism
    5. The Xu Program
    6. Windhoek, we have a problem
    7. Space Economics
    8. A New Space Paradigm
    9. Science through Superior Nuclear Power

    *Edit

    List of Mods (open)
    • Adjustable Landing Gear: I had enough of failplanes that can't take off until the runway ends because there is no landing gear suitable enough to get them in the right inclination for take off. Likewise, failplanes that veer to the right or to the left a lot during takeoff, often with serious risks of changing direction to a collision course with the spaceplane hangar or elsewhere in the KSC can be mostly prevented with this mod.
    • Advanced Jet Engine, Ferram Aerospace Research: In vanilla you can still achieve suborbital flights with jet aircraft because the vanilla way "air intake" works is totally unrealistic. In AJE, not only the way air intake works is more close to realism, but also all jet engines have speed limits based on how much heat they can endure(IE most turbofans can't go faster than MACH 2.8). Crossing such limits will cause explosions. The mod also includes a realistic ramjet which is ideal for hypersonic flight but sucks at subsonic speeds and requires a minimum velocity before it can generate any thrust at all. As for FAR, it's a requirement for Advanced Jet Engine.
    • B9 Procedural Parts: Procedural wings and control surfaces really help with aircraft building. No more gluing together dozens of stock wings that will wobble a lot during flight.
    • BD Parts Pack: Quite efficient aerodynamic radial retractable rocket engines both regular and VTOL, "T-50 PAK FA" jet engines with vectored thrust and a "spider bot" as a stylish alternative to regular rovers.
    • Better Buoyancy: Everything floats more realistically in the water.
    • Better Time Warp: 5x warp in atmosphere makes the longer ascents and reentries of RSS much less tiresome.
    • Chatterer: Mostly because it can be used to add custom music to the game.
    • Chute Safety Indicator, Safe Chute, EVA Parachutes by Default, RealChute: As long as a Kerbal can jump off the command pod, he might have a chance of surviving even when everything else goes horribly wrong.
    • Civilian Population, USI Kolonization, Extraplanetary Launchpads: Civilian Population is a late game project. Basically it is about putting structures in outer space not for astronauts, but for civilian colonization, tourism and entertainment. Modular and Orbital Kolonization System will be very handy for the former because many of their parts can be useful for civilian population building. Both mods also use EL, allowing for the construction of spacecrafts in outer space and low gravity bodies with permanent bases and settlements. This of course is all late game stuff.
    • Coherent Contracts, Contract Configurator, Contract Packs: Advanced Progression, Kerbin Space Station, RemoteTech, Rover Missions, SCANSat Lite, Tourism Plus, Kerbal Aircraft Builders: More variety of contracts for Career Mode, less eye-bleeding buzzwords in contract descriptions.
    • Critical Temperature Gauge + RealHeat: RealHeat improves stock heat physics, arguably makes Deadly Reentry "redundant" and is one of the components of RealismOverhaul. The other mod shows the maximum temperature in one of the parts of a vessel whenever it gets too hot. Engines will heat up a lot more and without radiators they take a long time to cool down in vacuum, specially in long burns.
    • Crowd Sourced Science: More varied descriptions for science experiments. Unfortunately most of such descriptions don't apply to the Real Solar System bodies.
    • Dynamic Deflection + Advanced Fly-by-Wire Controls + PilotAssist: Responsiveness of control surfaces such as elevons is adjusted based on factors such as current speed, altitude etc. Better support for joysticks than vanilla and atmospheric autopilot + adjustable stock SAS + atmospheric SAS(SSAS)
    • G-Effects: 15G or more for a while can kill a Kerbal and excessive Gs are now a real problem.
    • Kerbal Alarm Clock: Essentially a must have.
    • Kerbal Attachment System, Kerbal Inventory System: Very useful and a simpler alternative to Infernal Robotics*. Robotics don't really fit with the theme of this one, after all.
    • Kerbal Engineer Redux: really, really helps with designing spacecraft.
    • Kerbal Joint Reinforcement: Essential to prevent large spacecraft from being shattered into pieces due to aerodynamic pressures, etc.
    • KSC Switcher: Without it you're stuck to the default launch center in vanilla and to Cape Canaveral in RSS.
    • Menu Stabilizer: Right-click on menus in the default toolbar to have their positions locked.
    • Modular Rocket Systems LITE: Regardless of plausibility, Atomic Age features what is for gameplay purposes a cheat engine. This stockalike pack has a more sensible alternative when more powerful nuclear propulsion is needed: a quad nuclear engine with slightly better but still poor TWR compared to the stock one which also sucks for anything atmospheric. In truth I wanted the Orion "old boom-boom" Nuclear Pulse Drive as a late game wonder but it will probably remain incompatible with 1.x for a long time.
    • No More Science Grinding: Doing the same experiment at the same place again and again is banal, shit, boring.
    • Procedural Fairings for Everything: More options and textures than stock fairings.
    • Procedural Parts: Custom-tailored SRBs, fuel tanks, decouplers and adapters, maximum dimensions limited by technology in Career mode.
    • RasterPropMonitor: Being able to put an external camera connected to a MFD in a stock command pod makes IVA much better, but still external shots are better for the sake of a LP.
    • Real Solar System: Kerbol is an "extended tutorial" compared to the real deal. This mod naturally includes textures based on recent Pluto images.
    • Remote Tech + RT RSS Configuration: Gives a real purpose for satellites because probes can't be operated without a line of communications between them and one of the many ground stations RSS Configuration for this mod adds to Earth. Also a requirement of the RemoteTech Contract Pack, obviously.
    • RoverSpeed and Rover Wheel sounds: Stop rover wheels from breaking at high speeds and obviously add SFX to them.
    • SCANsat: Mapping topography, biomes and resources in Earth and beyond, plus new contracts in Career mode.
    • ShipManifest: Mostly to rename Kerbals. Haven't used much of its other features yet.
    • ShowAllFuels: All types of masses being consumed in a given stage will be shown, instead of LF only.
    • SMURFF: It's simpler and more universal than other mods that adjust fuel fractions and engine masses in all existing parts for the sake of realism, which is critical in RSS. Dedicated fuel tanks are more efficient, but procedural tanks still have their uses.
    • Sound Muffler: In space, nobody can hear you scream.
    • SpaceY Heavy Lifters Pack, SpaceY Expanded: Because I got TweakScale in addition to Procedural Parts, I deleted all engines and fuel tanks in these packs, but the other parts they feature with diameters up to 10 meters cannot be so easily replaced by PP or TweakScale. Obviously inspired by SpaceX.
    • Stock Bug Fix Modules, ModuleRCSFX: Any modding setup for this game should have at least these unofficial bugfix mods.
    • TAC Fuel Balancer: Balances fuel drain during flight to improve stability.
    • Trajectories: Displays the atmospheric trajectory of the vessel and calculates where it will land during reentry. Any ISRU idea involving shipping stuff back to Earth with drop pods constructed on the Moon will be much more practical with this mod, and ensuring maximum recovery for parts will be less difficult too.
    • TweakScale: Why have ten pages of engines when you can just resize fewer ones up and down? Also works with near every part in the game. Essential mod for the Real Solar System.
    • USI Life Support: Yes. I ditched TAC Life Support because I don't mind abstraction. While in the default settings this mod is much more forgiving and doesn't cause death due to loss of life support, I changed such options so if LS runs out it's mission over for reals, and the abstracted "supplies" and "mulch" have about the same average masses as separate oxygen, food, water, waste, waste water and carbon dioxide storages would have in TAC Life Support.
    • Waypoint Manager: waypoints being visible in EVA and rover driving makes rover and EVA missions a lot more convenient for obvious reasons.



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

    [​IMG]

    The beginning of the African Union Space Program Outsourced to Morgan Interstellar

    Theme

    [​IMG]

    North Africa, Morgan Interstellar Space Center

    Formerly known as the Hammaguir Launch Center, from where, back when Algeria was subjugated to French Imperialism, the only French satellite ever sent to orbit had its launch. Purchased by Morgan Industries, this humble facility, forgotten for decades, was beginning again from scratch. CEO Nwabudike Morgan was determined to bring Africa beyond their greatest dreams, to succeed where some other men of Africa in the past such as the Congolese have failed.


    However, while a businessman probably had more qualifications to reach space than any State built out of violence and warlords being warlords, the truth is that this was starting from the scratch. Morgan Industries did not have access to advanced Western rocket science. At first, there were only the crudest rockets available.

    [​IMG]

    Yet Morgan Industries had access to other advanced technologies that could be applied to rocket science, including nanotechnology, which would be essential for the construction of the Troposphere I, which unlike its ill-fated predecessor, was designed for a very "simple" goal: reaching outer space, even if only for a while, to then go down again, activate its parachutes and land safely, while also carrying two mystery goo canisters for studies in upper atmosphere and space. Under the crude starting infrastructure of a space center that was abandoned for decades, this would be the maiden voyage of Morgan Interstellar.

    (Note: When not using them in Sandbox mode, what you can do with procedural parts is limited by the tech level, which is why I used several procedural boosters here)

    [​IMG]

    To pilot this both highly advanced and primitive design, Ulminati is chosen. Will this cluster of crude nanotechnological solid fuel rockets get into space?

    (Because he died in the very first mission in the previous one.)

    [​IMG]

    Bright.

    [​IMG]

    Hot yet fortunately not in danger of blowing up, reaching farther than anything native from Africa ever did. Morgan Industries truly represent.

    [​IMG]

    While still having its highest altitude decreased by atmospheric drag, Troposphere I runs out of fuel, could it still get to 130 km of altitude?

    [​IMG]

    Almost there. An upper atmosphere experiment is conducted.

    [​IMG]



    The African Union is paying a lot to Morgan Interstellar in exchange of having their flag on display in outer space. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Truly, they were wise to outsource their space program to a capable private company, and this first display of success also convinced some cautious angel investors to pour more resources into the project.

    [​IMG]

    It would have been an acceptable loss.

    [​IMG]

    But it does not matter if it is facing the wrong direction, as long as the drag decelerates it enough for the parachutes to work.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately, to crown this great first achievement for Africa, the pilot returns safe and sound

    (I had to switch into this launch center multiple times because it's glitched. Sometimes the desert sand "buries" the facilities meshes and the likes. Other launch centers in RSS work better, but this is about Africa going to space so it has to happen in such specific location)

    [​IMG]

    With the new funds, now it was possible to improve the fledgling Morgan Interstellar Space Center enough for a far more ambitious and challenging goal: not only go into space, but stay there by reaching a stable orbit around Earth, another first time for this once forsaken continent, now combination of thriving native communities and enclaves of Western civilization which died, killed by a sense of self-hatred and demographic trends over most of their larger nations.

    [​IMG]

    The few surviving European nations after the Decline of the West reached the deep bottom were simply too small to afford the expenses of space exploration, while India and China had... bigger problems to afford keeping their space programs active.

    [​IMG]

    After over a week of planning and some early, still quite crude advancements in rocket science compared to what was previously deployed, the time has come to go for the next step: to Orbit Earth.

    [​IMG]

    The requirements for reaching orbit would be vastly greater.

    (Here is a clearer example of how tech limits the flexibility of procedural parts and of how exactly they work.)

    [​IMG]

    To give a shot at the contract to test a decoupler while in orbit, two liquid fuel engines would be used in the new, much larger and heavier Troposphere II. Hopefully the first engine will still have fuel left by the time a stable orbit is achieved to allow its decoupling, but even if that proves impossible, if this crude design with absolutely no aerodynamic nose cones, no struts, no extra reaction wheels, no Reaction Control System based on monopropellant, a ridiculous quantity of boosters and essentially something that looks even cheaper than the cheapest manned mission attempt the Soviets failed and covered up.

    It truly captured the spirit of the land where it was constructed, and hopefully the pilot would return in one piece.

    (Seriously not recommended to design anything like this with procedural parts because lots of procedural parts not only go against the very point of having completely adjustable parts, but also because they will drastically increase loading times in the Vehicle Assembly Building and in the launch. Fortunately they don't interfere with performance during flight itself. I only did this because those textures look cooler than vanilla ones. As for more cheesy paintjobs, I think it is still too early, too low tech for a truly pimped out rocket.)

    [​IMG]

    Good luck, because given how this thing is already is wobbling a little before it even got launched, it will definitively and absolutely be needed.

    :hero:

    [​IMG]

    During the first stage, overheating already happens. Hopefully it will hold on.

    [​IMG]

    Over the sands of the Sahara, Troposphere II ejects its first spent stage, and despite some overheat, it is still working as intended.

    [​IMG]

    Second stage, however, starts to become a reason for concern, the stress of the boosters wobbling the vessel as its loose components danced and swirled.

    [​IMG]

    All Ulminati could do was to hope for the best and look at funny cat pictures to not despair.

    [​IMG]

    Because this was really a scary moment in such bold mission, to achieve so much with such primitive, cheap and crude means.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately none of the wobbling, dancing boosters collided with each other to put an early, disastrous end to this mission, and now the time has come to stop flying most vertically and start gaining horizontal speed which would be essential to maintain orbit.

    [​IMG]

    Keeping a rocket propelled at the moment by five solid rocket boosters without struts heading at the right direction with nothing but limited gimbals and weak reaction wheels was easier said than done.

    [​IMG]

    Yet while it was spinning around, in time Ulminati was finally regaining control before too much Delta-v could be wasted by its erratic trajectory.

    [​IMG]

    To the relief of the Space Center of Morgan Interstellar and everyone involved in the project, Troposphere II regained attitude control in the blurred frontier between the edges of atmosphere and outer space.

    [​IMG]

    Now if the calculations did not go horribly wrong and if the moment of spinning out of control was not enough to doom it. Plus, hopefully this stage alone will be enough to get into orbit so that contract for testing a decoupler can be achieved.

    [​IMG]

    Another record is reached

    (One of the neat features of the Contracts improvement mods is that they make speed and altitude record contracts automatic, so you will never miss them by going straight towards getting to space and there is no longer any need to metagame around this.)

    [​IMG]

    There is hope. This could truly be a great day, the day the capabilities of the still young Morgan Interstellar will be proven at last.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, that stage emptied before orbit was achieved, thus a new mission would be needed to test a standard decoupler in orbit.

    [​IMG]

    Nevertheless. The most important goal was achieved. It was a very expensive mission given the crudeness of its technology, but the reward from both investors willing to throw more money in this project and the African Union government paying to have their flag in orbit more than made up for the costs.

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

    Still, transforming outer space in the new playground of Morgan Industries was a long, long way ahead, and there were many more milestones to be achieved before the dream of tapping all wealth of this vast solar system could be achieved.

    [​IMG]

    Time to decelerate and hope the atmospheric reentry maneuver won't end badly. Being burned alive during that would be a rotten way to die after being the first African to ever orbit Earth.

    [​IMG]

    Several considerations about this. At about 300 km of altitude from Earth, maybe that is still a too slow descent, perhaps the capsule would do better decelerating a little more for reentry.

    [​IMG]

    A few extra adjustments later, the decoupling happened, and now, there was no turning back.

    [​IMG]

    Because of the immense speed needed for stable orbits around Earth, even as high as around 120 km the effects of reentry were already being felt.

    [​IMG]

    If this was a bad choice, now there is no way to change it. There will be some tense minutes ahead while the pod makes it way down towards the Pacific Ocean, at least there is no risk of it heading down towards a mountain range.

    [​IMG]

    Everything starts shaking.

    [​IMG]

    The limits of the integrated heatshield in the command capsule are put to the test. The descent becomes a very close call.

    [​IMG]

    But Ulminati shall live to fly another mission.

    [​IMG]

    While rough, the reentry was a success, and the last remaining part of the Troposphere II lands safely in the Pacific Ocean.

    [​IMG]

    The knowledge base of Morgan Interstellar shall improve thanks to this great achievement, but there is a lot more to be done.

    [​IMG]

    The Moon remains distant, a daunting prospect. Attempting to reach orbit with such crude technology was already very risky. During one of the stages things did not go horribly by pure luck. Going to the Moon will require a lot more than this, but it will be another critical milestone before the much farther away dream of mining, colonizing and building in outer space.

    Forget "eccentric" African dictators with delusions of grandeur, forget space agencies that refuse to put the flag of their own country in their missions for the sake of political correctness and hire based on "social justice" instead of competence. In the 21st Century, only one man can push space exploration towards the heights it achieved in the past century:

    [​IMG]

    TO BE CONTINUED
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
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  2. SmartCheetah Arbiter

    SmartCheetah
    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    851
    Always wanted to be a Kerbastronaut. Guess what 8) Count me in!
     
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  3. potatojohn Arcane

    potatojohn
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    2,235
    List of mods?

    After watching someone play RSS+RO I have to admit it's too hardcore for me. Not the realism part per se, but the performance and bugs

    Godspeed :salute:
     
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  4. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,203
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Signing up to be killed off. :salute:
     
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  5. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    KSP Advanced Fly-By-Wire with some patches to work on this version of the game and MiniRO.cfg(placed in the main GameData folder) installed manually, plus:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Stock fuel tanks etc aren't modified by the current, still early version of Kerbal Fuels which is another reason I used only procedural boosters and tanks so far.

    I'm probably going to install more mods later because the Community Tech Tree remains full of empty nodes.
     
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  6. Suicidal Meat Slapper Learned

    Suicidal Meat Slapper
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Amerikwa
    I am ready to die in the most horrific way possible.
     
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  7. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
    Running the linux 64bit version? Last time I tried to KSP on windows it crashed with half that many mods.
     
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  8. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,197
    Location:
    Over there.
    :salute:

    I finally got a handle n the new RO. That ignition system pissed me off early on, since I never used it when it was optional, but now I'm building rockets with it in mind. Already have working Delta IV and Atlas V replicas, and have sent test satellites to orbit. My long term goal is a Curiosity mission to Mars.

    Anywho, Bastard4 is available for the rotisserie if required.
     
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  9. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    Unfortunately, scientists have a much smaller casualty rate than pilots in early game. Renaming also changes professions.

    Of course. It's a pity this game has an engine on par, if not worse than Gamebryo in overall shittiness. Unity is a cancer that should exist only within freemium shovelware mobile games and crappy popamole console ports, completely forsaken in development for games seriously intended for PCs first.

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

    [​IMG]

    Attempting to Surpass a Technological Dark Age

    Lunar Dreams

    [​IMG]

    With the funds from new investors and successful milestones, more upgrades happen to the Morgan Interstellar Space Center in Hammaguir.

    However, even all this improvement in infrastructure means little in face of how little rocket science has survived the death of Western Civilization. For aerospace engineering in Africa, it was still a technological Dark Age, and only through the genius and boldness of CEO Nwabudike Morgan this could finally change.

    [​IMG]

    The gap between what could be possible, given enough technological rediscovery and advance. The gap between dream and reality...

    (One of the ends of the Community Tech Tree.)

    [​IMG]

    That gap still is massive. Dreams of giving a new, much more literal meaning to "being at the top of society". Dreams of building a space platinum and space gold monopoly worth hundreds of trillions, dreams of harnessing the power of the sun and sending it back to the surface in enough volume to achieve an energy monopoly on Earth and supply all electricity needs of the entire planet, dreams of reaching as far away as Pluto, they are nothing but dreams for now, because with the existing technology at hand, even the Moon remains unreachable for now.

    [​IMG]

    The launchpad was still not large enough, and to ensure there would be funds to make it big enough to support any rocket, a contract that is beyond the technology available is nonetheless accepted for the investment in advance.

    (And here the first Remote tech specific contract)

    [​IMG]

    With this upgrade, a pending contract to test a decoupler in orbit can finally be a possibility, provided no incidents happen.

    [​IMG]

    Troposphere III. Bigger, better and with its first liquid fuel rocket stage having vectored thrust capabilities to ensure more efficient maneuvers. SmartCheetah will be another one with experience orbiting Earth, provided this does not explode first.

    [​IMG]

    While the lack of struts made the ascent tense at times, an earlier turn to gain horizontal speed still worked and the orbit this time would possibly happen before the first stage with liquid fuel runs out.

    [​IMG]

    But perhaps the focus on gaining horizontal velocity wasn't such a great idea, for an initially limited thrust to weight ratio adds to the need of a less efficient climbing maneuver instead of accelerating towards the prograde.

    [​IMG]

    Still, after a while accelerating, finally a mostly stable orbit is achieved, and after a minor maneuver, then it will only be a matter of time for this particular test to happen at last.

    [​IMG]

    Dreams, distant dreams. The best window of opportunity for a mission to Mars is over a year away. On the positive side, that also means more time to build up in infrastructure and technology for a manned mission to the red planet to no longer be a dream not even the once great nations of the fallen West could achieve.

    [​IMG]

    Not the most profitable deal, but this still turned a profit. However, there was one serious problem: Troposphere III was running out of electrical power. It had to comment atmospheric reentry right now.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully this won't go badly.

    [​IMG]

    A descent back home. perhaps 45 km periapsis is the optimal spot for descending from such low Earth orbit.

    [​IMG]

    The reentry happens without incidents... except for one. Running out of electricity for the air conditioner while paradropping in the middle of the Sahara desert is certainly the last thing any astronaut would want, but this is a tough profession, a job only worth of the greatest men, something pampered weaklings who bitch about air conditioning or the lack of the same will never, ever have the balls to do.

    [​IMG]

    Another successful mission for Morgan Interstellar.

    [​IMG]

    Is it worth to sacrifice one for this mission in a one-way trip to certain death? Fears of a PR backlash for sending someone into a mission with 0% survival chances purely for money ensured this would stay in the backburner until finally the technology to build the simplest of probes can be scrounged together. Besides, the financial situation of the company was not so dire to justify such a sacrifice.

    [​IMG]

    Instead, there would be more testing contracts involving some very... interesting rockets.

    [​IMG]

    Oops. After this mistake, because the more experience Astronauts would be put under too much risk, a less experienced one would have the honor of being the test pilot for such eccentric, budget-friendly rocket.

    [​IMG]

    Potatojohn would be the test pilot. Hopefully the single parachute will be enough once its tanks are empty.

    [​IMG]

    It had more than enough fuel to achieve the specific speeds and altitudes for such tests.

    [​IMG]

    It even sort of had lift... sort of. With all the components tested, now it was only a matter of the parachute working.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately it did work. This rocket designed for FUN and PROFIT landed in one piece.

    [​IMG]

    With the extra profit, another important upgrade. Finally there will be space suits so astronauts can go outside their rockets for science.

    [​IMG]

    Decades of Western decadence remain echoing even in Africa, but Morgan Industries hires based on competence, not on political correctness to appease, or even worse, hire as astronauts the kind of people who think air conditioners are "sexist" and whose greatest adversity ever in life was being unable to day-one purchase an iPhon. On further inspection by those responsible for evaluating and picking the best among applicants though, it was discovered that every "female" applicant was not really female at all. Nevertheless, outperforming crossdressers, trannies and all others on the list, Suicidal Meat Slapper was hired as a scientist.

    [​IMG]

    Another test happens, nothing new besides a goofy landing.

    [​IMG]

    This is one of the prerequisites for even considering to reach the Moon.

    [​IMG]

    Another contract involving testing a "new" engine in suborbital altitudes is being sought, in addition to more researches. Some careless employees mistake Ulminati for Potatojohn and now the former will take all the risks of this mission.

    [​IMG]

    Another mission accomplished.


    [​IMG]

    The descent, it will be one of the roughest, hardest ever, and if mistakes are made, it could mean death. Hopefully the material studies conducted in this mission will not be lost, for no probes = impossibility of a flyby to the Moon that isn't also suicidal.

    [​IMG]

    Remaining fuel is used to maintain a reasonable descent speed for as long as possible.

    [​IMG]

    It is going down too fast and there is no drogue parachute!

    [​IMG]

    At the last moment, this testbed decelerated enough for a safe activation of the parachute. Whew, that was a very close one.

    [​IMG]

    Still far away from the science needed for lunar missions to become practical.

    [​IMG]

    Because an opportunity to gain further scientific knowledge through EVA studies was squandered in the previous mission, a cheap "upgrade" of the very first Troposphere will be used for such a goal.

    [​IMG]

    Troposphere I is a rocket designed by the lowest bidder, for the most spendthrift customer, but other than scary overheating during ascent, it "works" for its intended purpose of a very cheap suborbital flight platform.

    [​IMG]

    For the commercial astronauts who experienced it however, Troposphere I is known as the "hot vomit machine". Nevertheless, because of its wide profile, it will easily decelerate during descent, enough for a safe and early activation of the parachute to always be possible.

    [​IMG]

    How to test standard parachutes in stress conditions likely to destroy them without bringing the pilot to certain death is a question answered by another ridiculous test. By mounting two extra standard chutes to side mounted girders, of course!

    [​IMG]

    Putting an equal number of parachutes on each end of a spaceplane is the cheapest form of guaranteed vertical landing ever.. But in this particular case there were more chutes on one of the extremities, so the touchdown was quite rough and had the price of a few components shattering apart.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately the pilot was not included among the casualties. Then, there was something...

    ...

    PR OPPORTUNITY!!!

    ...

    Accepting the contract to rescue a stranded female astronaut was either the greatest PR opportunity ever or a very big mistake. The risk was taken. A rescue variant of the Troposphere III was designed, it would be a dangerous, the most dangerous mission ever made. Interception would be very hard, demand Delta-v in the limits of what existing technology can achieve in a reasonable way, the odds of failure were considerate and the profit margin for this contract was slim.

    [​IMG]

    Bigger, with two command pods stacked above each other, it started well.

    [​IMG]

    But as soon as the first stage began to run out, everything began to go wrong for the first time in the history of Morgan Interstellar.

    [​IMG]

    Excess of overtime has caused the mission control to furiously skip staging in a desperate attempt to salvage this now certain disaster. Troposphere III Rescue was a complete fluke. Just a few extra liquid fuel tanks and the two pods stacked above each made it completely unstable in flight. Potatojohn was panicking so much he forgot he had a parachute and could jump out of the capsule as a last resort if necessary.

    [​IMG]

    The empty command capsule was destroyed in the maelstrom of boosters flying and spinning everywhere. Potatojohn tried with despair to keep the rest of the rocket pointed towards the right direction.

    [​IMG]

    It was not decelerating quickly enough. Shit! Jump and use the parachute! Potato!!!!

    [​IMG]

    ...

    Potatojohn, Junior test pilot of Morgan Interstellar, suffers a fiery death after the aerodynamic flaws of a hastily designed variant of the Troposphere III and his panic making him forget he had a parachute, dooming him.

    :salute:

    [​IMG]

    Someone who only became an astronaut because of reading a manifesto in a shitty blog about "gender gap" in rocket science is now forsaken to die in orbit, because the contract was immediately cancelled after this tragedy, and never again would rescue contracts be sought. With such crude technology to the point they cannot even into aerodynamic cones because Africa, rescues are borderline impossible. With better technologies, rockets with enough Delta-V for rescues could become too expensive given the paltry payments normally given for such contracts. This was a setback that would be remembered, the first fuckup of Morgan Interstellar, a mistake that hopefully was the anomaly, rather than a sign of much more disasters yet to come.

    Sacrificing Potatojohn for a suicidal flyby to the Moon would have been more productive after all. Nevertheless:

    :salute:

    TO BE CONTINUED
     
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  10. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
    There's an option in Ship Manifest to rename kerbals and set their profession that works pretty well. It adds some non-rendered special characters to the end of their names to fudge the profession
     
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  11. Suicidal Meat Slapper Learned

    Suicidal Meat Slapper
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Amerikwa
    Fucking women having to ruin everything. If that dumb broad hadn't stranded herself in orbit, Potatojohn would still be alive. :salute:
     
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  12. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Vault City
    Unfortunately the save file got corrupted and I forgot to backup. Furthermore reducing science gains to 50% proved to be a big mistake, so I'm starting it all over again with some early millionaire funds and a hundred or so of science points to cut down on grind and not hit a wall in getting the tech needed for practical probes(no solar panels = forget it) and Moon exploration another time. Trying to get to the Moon with a tech tree unfit for the Real Solar System at 50% science gain from contracts+experiments was simply 99% frustration, 1% difficulty.
     
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  13. SmartCheetah Arbiter

    SmartCheetah
    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    851
    :-x Shieeeet. I was a one star pilot already!
     
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  14. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,197
    Location:
    Over there.
    I'm nowhere near imaginative enough to create my own Let's Play, nor do I want to steal the focus from Cassidy but a little birdie told me there's a bit of a space race now. The Merkan Federation, remnants of the US and Canada, have consolidated their limited resources and started a space program modelled after the former NASA. Spy reports show they've launched their first communications satellite.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
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    Vault City
    There will be a very important thing for you to choose after this one.



    [​IMG]

    And here the new initial settings, which hopefully will mean just enough science to have the technology for getting the cheapest and most primitive unmanned probes into Earth's orbit and enough cash to avoid grinding. I skipped most of the stuff already done in the previous lost game being redone, death(s) caused by hilariously bad mistakes aside(Hint: the second image below already tells everything you need to know).



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

    Frozen Ocean - Sloan Great Wall



    [​IMG]
    The gap between the long term goals of Morgan Interstellar and current reality is as large as CEO Nwabudike Morgan's wealth.

    Probe Troubles, not to be confused with Probe Teams

    [​IMG]

    Because Africa was horribly backwards and without the technology to build their own computers for unmanned probes, Morgan Interstellar had its beginning with manned space rockets designed by a Kwanzanian expat known as Tyrone, who was better at lying about his competence than at being competent, and with few apt evalutators of rocket science skills in Africa, Tyrone got away with it at first. Until the day he designed the Troposphere II.

    [​IMG]

    The first Troposphere II sent to orbit was designed with an unbelievably stupid design flaw: the lack of a decoupler between the final stage and the command pod to allow the latter and the pilot within to survive reentry. Tyrone realized that unlike with white-guilt ridden libruls, "I dindu nuffin" was no excuse in Morgan Interstellar, and for failing at such extreme of forgetting to add such an essential component to the Troposphere II which was the first Morgan Interstellar space rocket capable of reaching Earth's orbit, he was immediately fired.

    [​IMG]

    Ulminati's sacrifice won't be forgotten. There will be yet another manned orbital flight for science that will not fail. Then, hopefully, with all the EVA research, Morgan Interstellar will have barely enough technology to start unmanned missions across the blue planet.

    :salute:

    (Forgetting to add a decoupler for reentry... that's a new low. Those things between the pod and the parachute were procedural batteries so it could stay on orbit for up to 4 hours for EVA reports)

    [​IMG]

    A second mission with SmartCheetah was launched, with a revised Troposphere II that had the critical decoupler between the command pod and the final stage for atmospheric reentry. The science gained from such mission could be just what was needed for heavy duty, hardened processors comparable to 386 CPUs to be created in Africa almost from scratch. Not counting the current lack of technology to build communications systems with ranges measured in millions, dozens of millions and perhaps in the future, hundreds of millions of kilometers, and most importantly, an antenna that can endure aerodynamic stresses when activated.

    [​IMG]

    Without a resilient antenna like this one, trying to put probes into orbit would be an exercise in frustration. But that was only one of the key technological advances required for making the first African satellites of Morgan Interstellar practical.

    [​IMG]

    Solar power. While current solar panels are about the same tech level of the first Congolese Troposphere 1(not to be confused with Morgan's Troposphere I), they are enough, barely, for practical satellites to be deployed.

    [​IMG]

    With remaining scientific knowledge processed by the R&D department (probe teams not removing hardware and pirates not removing software from inventories), a more efficient rocket engine in outer space, better, larger fuel tanks and the early prototypes for storing orbital mining products still too ahead of their time are finally available.

    Many were interested in a cheaper, native African satellite communications network, and now, at last, thanks to the sacrifice of a brave astronaut, Ulminati, thanks to all the efforts and early investments, everything was ready for the projects that would eventually open the path towards lunar exploration.

    There was also a contract for a new altimetry map of Earth, but the only way for a single satellite to eventually do it was a polar orbit, where the creation of a basic communications network required a near equatorial one.

    [​IMG]

    Troposphere II used only liquid fuels, and the first CommSat I prototype followed the same principle for a lot of reasons, but most importantly, because such engines had vectored thrust capabilities, where only the most expensive SRBs had gimbals to achieve the same capability.

    (Also because procedural fuel tanks have 0 cost besides the price of the fuels they store. Not my fault)

    [​IMG]

    It worked for sure, and here, shining like gold, the first satellite of Morgan Interstellar is getting to orbit at last!

    [​IMG]

    In retrospect, this was superfluous, for a second satellite with the same kind of sensor would be needed.

    [​IMG]

    The second Morganite satellite reached its polar orbit without incidents, and began a mapping effort that would take several days.

    However, back to the project to create a communications network, there was a problem:

    [​IMG]

    To get a satellite launched from northern Sahara at about 30 degrees latitude to an equatorial orbit would require a not just a rocket, but a big rocket.

    [​IMG]

    A really big rocket.

    [​IMG]

    At the first seconds of the launch everything was looking good.

    [​IMG]

    No comment.

    [​IMG]

    Back to the drawing board!

    [​IMG]

    The problem with the only SRBs capable of keeping a rocket flying at more or less the right direction is that SRBs with gimbals are insanely expensive compared to the cheaper ones without vectored thrust capabilities. A compromise was reached in such design by having only the innermost solid rocket booster fitted with a gimbal. Obviously a poorly scaled up liquid engine could not do the job, but this one would. Not only that, but it was separated into one more stage to maximize efficiency, with one of the liquid fuel engines cleverly concealed between the fuel tanks radially attached to it. Furthermore, some weight and cost savings were made in the reduction of solar panels, hopefully not to the point of dooming this new design to run out of power once its power hungry long range communications antenna is activated.

    The end result was almost 50% cheaper than the disastrous first attempt at a rocket capable of putting a satellite into equatorial orbit.

    [​IMG]

    A new, fancy autopilot was also tested, and it was sort of working.

    [​IMG]

    The booster stage ran out and was ejected without problems. During the next stage, bugs in SAS configuration and six engines had their way to make it difficult to keep the rocket under control

    (bugs meaning I changed several times the adjustable Kp Ki Kd scalar settings for vanilla SAS the Pilot Assistant mod provides and I have yet to get the right numbers for smooth rocket trips, although I'm sort of getting close to it.)

    [​IMG]

    But as soon as that stage decoupled, something beyond rational explanation happened, and the probe self-destruct mechanism was activated.

    [​IMG]

    To prevent further incidents, the solution was very simple, if ugly, for keeping unattached parts too close to each other tends to summon Eldritch physics into reality.

    [​IMG]

    This time it worked! Hopefully there would be no more mistakes because the last ones were quite expensive. Not as expensive as finding and hiring competent rocket scientists in Africa, but still.

    [​IMG]

    First, to achieve an orbit, then the thousands of Delta-v needed to make it an equatorial one.

    [​IMG]

    The final stage should have more than enough for the maneuver, but while Morgan Interstellar had communications infrastructure spread over the entire planet, several gaps existed where it would be impossible to control this probe, and whether its sparse solar panels would suffice once its larger antenna is activated remains to be seen.

    [​IMG]

    It took hours before the probe was just at the right place and right time for the maneuver, in a location where a station on Earth could allow its control. But there was a certain problem which was going on for a while, and when the maneuvering began, such problem became critical.

    [​IMG]

    The satellite ran out of power and it was now in a suborbital trajectory where it would eventually burn in atmospheric reentry.

    Cutting all those solar panels was a shitty idea, after all.

    [​IMG]

    A Chinese experimental rocket engine which was totally not a pirated SpaceX one was one of the tests done by contract to recoup the funds lost in the tragic, rough start of the Morgan Interstellar satellites division. With winglets and two parachutes, it landed back in one piece.

    [​IMG]

    CommSat I is redesigned with more solar panels to prevent the last mistake, but this will be a challenge nonetheless. Fortunately, although some consider it a bad idea, soon a better place in Africa will be available for rocketry, a place located at the very line of the equator, and maybe it would be a better idea to move there than to endure the challenges of launching rockets away from the equator. Modular infrastructure has its advantages, so the cost of moving in will be smaller than the investment costs for the space center so far.

    Unfortunately the first maneuver attempt did not really work. It was a matter of it passing at the equator during the right time, with a communications center in Earth close enough.

    [​IMG]

    One more attempt, still nothing. The already orbiting satellites with communications capabilities were too far away to relay to it as well.

    [​IMG]

    The Polar Altimetry Satellite finished its contractual job at last while one more attempt to not lose communication with CommSat I during the moment it is about to pass over the equator is made.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately, this time, with the help of its larger and power hungry antenna, CommSat I finally could be moved towards the right orbit. Once the first step was completed, a second maneuver to circularize its new equatorial orbit happened.

    [​IMG]

    Finally!

    [​IMG]

    But this was just the beginning, and doing this in equatorial Africa instead, so all the extra requirements for changing orbital inclination could be avoided, sounded like a very good idea in this moment.

    [​IMG]

    Things were finally starting to look bright in the initially crude and fail-ridden unmanned space program of Morgan Interstellar, for a change, but now was also a moment to make an important decision:

    Is it really a good idea to keep wasting more money and efforts whenever an equatorial orbit is necessary, which tends to be a lot more often than not, instead of moving the space center to equatorial Africa?

    1) Yes. If NASA could do it without having a space center in the equator, we can do better! And the desert is less harsh to advanced technological components than the jungle.

    2) No. Move in to just readily available infrastructural basis for a space center in equatorial Africa (-300,000 funds)



    TO BE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  16. Suicidal Meat Slapper Learned

    Suicidal Meat Slapper
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Amerikwa
    2). Might cost a bit in the short-term, but hopefully will be worth it in the near future.
     
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  17. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,197
    Location:
    Over there.
    Ditto, with one caveat. Are you running the mod that pays you for getting science? If so, definitely go with 2. A few easy contracts and science gains will recoup the cost.
     
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  18. Alienman Arcane Patron

    Alienman
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    11,348
    Location:
    Mars
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
  19. SmartCheetah Arbiter

    SmartCheetah
    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    851
    Go with 2nd option. It doesn't sound that bad anyway, especially if you could score a bigger contract.
     
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  20. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
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    7,321
    Location:
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    Nope, but cash isn't a problem as long as I don't make too many mistakes. Also, not having to make extra-large rockets to get anything into an equatorial orbits will naturally mean less chances to make mistakes.

    Will post the next update on page 2, so bump.
     
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  21. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

    GarfunkeL
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
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    15,456
    Location:
    Insert clever insult here
    To the moon! Add me to the list of brave kerbalnauts.
     
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  22. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
    Definitely option 2. The fuel saved on getting into a nice orbit from the equator makes a huge difference in my experience.
     
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  23. potatojohn Arcane

    potatojohn
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    2,235
    I died as I lived; ineffectually chasing after a woman
     
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  24. Alienman Arcane Patron

    Alienman
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    11,348
    Location:
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    :lol::salute:
     
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