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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. Suicidal Meat Slapper Learned

    Suicidal Meat Slapper
    Joined:
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  2. Cassidy Arcane

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

    Space Economics


    "And when at last it is time for the transition from megacorporation to planetary government, from entrepreneur to emperor, it is then that the true genius of our strategy shall become apparent, for energy is the lifeblood of this society and when the chips are down he who controls the energy supply controls Earth. In former times the energy monopoly was called 'The Power Company'; we intend to give this name an entirely new meaning."

    --CEO Nwabudike Morgan​

    Interstellar Medley

    [​IMG]

    The successful return from the Moon ushered multiple technological advances in rocket science, particularly in the fields of miniaturization, where new, compact yet powerful rocket engines were made, and in communications technologies, fundamental for the plans of transforming outer space into a profitable enterprise. There was much work ahead, there was still a lot to be done and advanced resource scanners required more R&D.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, there was a perhaps unwisely accepted contract involving the deployment of sensors in Madagascar. To fulfill it, a drone fitted with the appropriate sensors was designed. It had multiple antennas encased within its nosecone to ensure it would never lose connection, go down and explode. However, the first flights were less than successful because of some unexplainable accidents during take-off.

    (Severe collision bugs that kept happening until I fully upgraded the runway)

    [​IMG]

    Eventually it at least managed to take off, but after several hours of stable flight:

    [​IMG]

    At this point, it's cheaper to forfeit such a bad contract. And that was exactly what was done.

    (PROTIP: NEVER, EVER ACCEPT EARTH SURVEY CONTRACTS IN THE REAL SOLAR SYSTEM)

    [​IMG]

    While the existing communications network around Earth was OK, the satellites within it were built with technologies that are now very outdated and limited. Plans were put in motion to create a new, better satellite network, and also fulfill some contracts for science and profit. A far more efficient design than its crude predecessors, the 3rd Generation Satellite Launcher relied on a final stage with two radial engines and detachable fuel tanks, encased and protected by detachable fairings. Its four omnidirectional antennas ensure it shall almost never lose contact with the space center. Its satellite also used far more powerful solar panels.

    [​IMG]

    The first of the Gen 3 satellites was launched towards the fulfillment of a contract, but once the reward is given, it shall be redeployed into an orbit more useful for communications.

    [​IMG]

    By using such small engines in its final stage and ejecting spent fuel tanks, it packed a lot more dV for its weight than it would otherwise. More three of such satellites would be launched towards the creation of a new network. Meanwhile, every previously launched satellite had its control rights sold to the best customers of Morgan Interstellar (they were all scrapped). Creating a direct communications network with the Moon has finally become a possibility, but first the orbital communications around Earth had to be improved.

    [​IMG]

    The success of the Xu Program was one of the reasons such project became affordable and technologically possible. But for now, besides the occasional space tourism, manned missions would take a backseat. To finish the preparations from Earth's orbit, a fifth satellite was required, preferably in a polar orbit and with a more powerful communications antenna than the ones from the last four ones.


    [​IMG]

    The Earth-Moon Communications Relay is ready. Unmanned missions on the Moon will now always be online. A contract to create a permanent communications network that had near 100% coverage of the lunar surface was the next step, and it would be useful in any case, should any valuable resource exist in the low gravity environment of the Moon to be explored for science and profit. However, compared to deploying a satellite anywhere in Earth's Orbit, deploying a satellite in a stable Lunar Orbit would require a big rocket.

    [​IMG]

    A much bigger and almost six times more expensive rocket compared to the previous ones used for unmanned missions. LunaSat I payload would also include some superfluous components required by testing contracts on the Moon. Perhaps it was a bit of an overkill given it doesn't need enough for a return trip, but the idea was to give this rocket enough fuel to maneuver a lot in Moon's orbit, and if all contracts are successfully accomplished, now that the terms were renegotiated to make the rewards more fitting to the astronomical costs of space travel, it would pay off.

    [​IMG]

    Of course, it was still dwarfed by the towering and still barely sufficient Xu-2 that was previously launched, but its launch was nevertheless an impressive sight.

    (Now with RealPlume )

    [​IMG]

    The Kiwi, an inefficient but compact and powerful rocket engine, much needed to lift off the massive payload it had to. As the atmosphere thinned and the transition into outer space began, the plumes of the rocket engines disappeared, replaced by quickly dissipating flames.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately mistakes were made, but nothing a little patience couldn't fix. Two successful launches, but the first one would arrive last because it burned at the wrong time and had to wait for the Moon to be in the right place before the next maneuver to save dV. Such maneuvers also showed that most available communications systems had ranges beyond their stated numbers when it comes to communicating with Earth. Perhaps this could have been done earlier after all.

    (RSS makes RemoteTech behave more realistically than its default)

    [​IMG]

    Lunasat II made it first, where its plenty of rocket fuel would be put to good use, first, towards a requested orbit by a contract, and later by its repositioning in a much higher orbit as the first of a simpler network using only two satellites in polar and near polar orbits.

    [​IMG]

    Lunasat I conducted all contractual tests without incident, including the suborbital one. There was more than enough fuel to proceed with the next step of these two missions.

    [​IMG]

    With both satellites in a more or less synchronous orbit communicating all the time with each other, now probes anywhere on the Moon could be controlled all the time as long as they don't run out of power. Now, the next step would be to scan its surface, but that would require a little more technology than what was currently available.

    [​IMG]

    With all the funding earned with the latest successes on the Moon, despite the currently low demand for manned space flights, several new astronauts were hired: Suicidal Meat Slapper , Hellraiser , Alienman and GarfunkeL .

    [​IMG]

    Efficiency could be further improved through the application of an even more efficient engine technology for probes made possible with the latest advances in miniaturization.

    [​IMG]

    Despite all that was already achieved by Morgan Interstellar, an old milestone: the first docking in space, had yet to happen. For that, a cheap(for space standards) pair of test probes would be launched in Low Earth Orbit. It really made use of detachable fuel tanks to the maximum, and despite its fairing, its mostly hollow upper stage meant that too sharp maneuvers during ascent could lead to all kinds of trouble.

    [​IMG]

    50% of the docking test probes exploded or failed spectacularly. Only after four launches this could finally be done.

    [​IMG]

    No compromises could be made about cutting aerodynamic control surfaces.

    [​IMG]

    Another successful test. Now, there is only the docking left.

    [​IMG]

    A LV-1 "Ant" engine isn't a RCS, but real MLG pros don't need RCS to dock.

    [​IMG]

    After a few failed attempts, the docking was completed with flying Finnish colors.

    [​IMG]

    One particularly needed technology was still beyond reach, and to accelerate scientific progress, new policies were enacted that traded reputation and profits for science. Given that such technology would finally open the gates towards real economic exploration of interplanetary platinum, uranium and other valuable resources, it was a worthwhile investment.

    [​IMG]

    To grind for SCIENCE it is necessary to launch more eccentric rich people into space. Look, this design may not seem safe, but it's totally safe, really. Really.

    [​IMG]

    What could go wrong?

    [​IMG]

    See? Two flights already and so far everything worked without incident, and with inexperienced pilots even!

    But there was another very costly way to earn even more science, a very insane contract. Major oil industries, the Chinese and Russian governments and several right-wing organizations were paying Morgan to study closely the temperatures of the Sun through a flyby of the very Sun, something that would be a first for a change: never in History was such a bold flight attempted. They hoped that the gathered information from such a flight would bury forever the Church of Globowarmthinkery and its Climatologist "librul idiots" by proving definitively there is no man-made climate change. There was also about $5000 in that contract funding from an individual called Cleveland Mark Blakemore, who was certain an Ice Age was coming by the end of the 21st century, and he hoped there would be evidences gathered through such flyby of the Sun about his predictions. For Morgan Interstellar, the implications were clear: if indeed ITZ COMING, the drive towards space exploration will increase a hundredfold, and so will their business opportunities.

    [​IMG]

    Those were the reasons why such a billionaire project for an unmanned rocket almost as massive as the Xu-2 was approved. Glaciation X would fly as close to the Sun as possible, gather temperature readings, then maintain such eccentric orbit for several years to continue taking readings and studying the Sun closer than any human device has ever done until it stops working.

    [​IMG]

    Glaciation X also made several thermal readings during the course of its long flight towards the Sun, essential for the much needed science towards the final steps required for the economical exploration of outer space. It would take a while before the results could be finally measured.

    [​IMG]

    All the science gathered from so many contracts and projects finally was enough for another important step in the current plans of Morgan Interstellar. Powerful survey scanners capable of measuring any resource on a planetary body would finally be available.

    [​IMG]

    As a test, they were first deployed on Earth, using the Gen 3 Satellite design. Such surveys require terminus polar orbits because of their power demands, to ensure the probe will always have sunlight available. Some deposits of ore and most importantly, Uranium, were detected in the West Coast of Africa not so far from the Space Center. A drone was deployed to scan them.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly such precise scanners only work for ore. Fortunately, if there is enough ore on the Moon, Lunar refineries for all kinds of rocket fuels will become a possibility, which will vastly expand the range of future space flights once they get built.

    [​IMG]

    To check the resources of the Moon, a new, very ingenious design based on the LunarSat was devised: the Data4 Lunar Surveyor also included two mini lander probes docked to it, although their fuel might be too limited for their role of landing on the lunar surface for close scans.

    [​IMG]

    After a few contractual side jobs, Data4 Lunar Surveyor completed its scan of the Moon, detecting several valuable resources. There is certainly potential, but overall the Moon is quite resource poor. Perhaps other bodies in the solar system will have richer resources.

    [​IMG]

    At the right time, hopefully, one of the probes is detached from the larger probe for landing on the Moon.

    [​IMG]

    As suspected, these tiny probes have barely enough to land in one piece. They cannot be reused. And the landing... well...

    [​IMG]

    At least it was still intact and working. However, it took a long time before it finally managed to transmit all its scans back to the space center due to the limits of its miniaturized solar panels. There was a contract to do seismic surveys in a very specific part of the Moon this one sadly landed far away from. The second one would be needed for it.

    [​IMG]

    Out of fuel... there goes another one. But what the fuck? The locations requested by a certain contract are not on the Moon, they are in the Moon, as in beneath the surface? Is this a fraud?

    (Another bug involving RSS. PROTIP: NEVER ACCEPT SURVEY CONTRACTS OF ANY KIND IN RSS)

    There was more science before the final step could be taken. An independent space program in Kinshasa failed... again. They got close to their own Moon landing, but their astronaut barely survived the trip and is now stranded in Lunar Orbit. They offered a lot for the rescue of the same astronaut, which would demand a completely new design in the Xu Program, using new technologies.

    [​IMG]

    Xu-3 was designed to work both manned and unmanned. Heavier yet somewhat cheaper compared to its predecessor thanks to more efficient technologies, it provided a lot more spare Delta-V, which would likely ensure no nightmarish long suborbital wait before a final reentry like what happened with Xu-2. Having only space for one, it would orbit the Moon, rescue the stranded Congolese astronaut, and if possible, do another landing because there is a contract to plant another flag on the Moon. It was also the first Morgan space rocket with electrical systems powered by a nuclear reactor instead of solar power so even in the dark side of the Moon it would keep working.

    Sure, the life support supplies are attached to a nuclear reactor, but there is nothing to worry about. That reactor is 100% shielded, there is no radiation leaking into food, water and oxygen reserves, really!

    [​IMG]

    There it goes.

    [​IMG]

    Almost routine at this point. Jendun was certainly glad rescue arrived after all, but there was a surprise for him.

    [​IMG]

    Because this will be the second African moon landing as well!

    [​IMG]

    :kfc:

    Time to go back home.

    [​IMG]

    To return to the blue planet, because Jendun dindu nuffin wrong.

    [​IMG]

    This time, the reentry maneuver was much faster and safer than with Xu-2.

    [​IMG]

    Not that such details inspire much confidence in certain moments.

    [​IMG]

    He almost passed out. That moment is one nobody ever gets used to.

    [​IMG]

    But he survived, and another great mission ends.

    [​IMG]

    Most importantly, much scientific knowledge is recovered, finally enough for the still needed technological advances towards the greatest project of Morgan Interstellar: the economic development of the Moon and beyond.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, the real ranges of the existing communications technologies available to Morgan Interstellar prove a lot larger than the stated value. Glaciation X is approaching its periapsis from the Sun, from where, if it isn't burned into a crisp, it will take multiple readings and send them back to the Space Center, readings that may prove that thing Cleve was talking about is very, very real while the Church of Global Warming is another kooky leftard religious cult for dumb fedora tippers

    [​IMG]

    Through tourism needed to fund outsourced R&D, near all the newcomers among the astronauts have their maiden flights. And so many contracts are sought, researches, until the next technology required for Morgan Interstellar goals can be reached. Days become weeks, weeks become months, and then:

    [​IMG]

    The Sun almost fried Glaciation X. The response lag is so bad the only way to really have any control over it is through the autopilot of the flight computer, but finally the first results are coming. The verdict is: for now the sun is definitively hotter than before and that is definitively causing climate changes on Earth, but how long will it last? With such information being published, at first they accuse Morgan of doing fraudulent research, which is super ironic given Global Warming cultists love to falsify and manipulate data until they conform to their dogmas. Eventually however, like all following the path of their own extinction, the Globowarmthinmajifics lose all their credibility as the people wake up to the frauds they always were.

    As for the prophecies of a coming Ice Age ITZ... further readings of the Sun will be needed to either confirm or disprove it. This was a truly pioneer and very enlightening close by research of the Sun.

    [​IMG]

    Extracting resources from the vacuum isn't something easy. The Makoua Space Center will need a First World Class R&D Facility before that even becomes practical, and First World Class R&D is very, very expensive.

    [​IMG]

    Once the new facilities were finally constructed, the final step was ready: drills, storage facilities, warehouses built in low and zero gravity environments. Drop pods. The age of space economics was about to begin.

    (Also, UKS had an update. Its previous version had the nuclear reactors in an earlier node which is why Xu-3 had one while that update moved all nuclear reactors from Kolonization to this node that requires all upgrades to the R&D facility)


    Now the only question remaining would be: which is the best resource or processed goods to be sent from space to Earth for a lot of profit? Naturally, given the hostility of Earth's governments to let private corporations work without restrictions with uranium, that one was a given, but would raw uranium do it?

    [​IMG]

    Sadly, as well understood by the difference between countries that only export raw materials such as most of Africa and those that export industrialized goods, raw uranium isn't that valuable to justify the costs to extract it from outer space. On the other hand, uranium enrichment is something that is very sensitive to be done by a private megacorporation... on Earth. But that will require manned bases, not only unmanned operations, nevertheless, it may indeed be the future of Morgan Interstellar: Manned Uranium Refineries on the Moon. Why? Because:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    TO BE CONTINUED
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
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  3. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    Would have updated this sooner had anyone commented anything here.

    While I managed to get the saved game to work in the 1.0.5 version, I lost all the archive from complete missions and some stuff that I already did before was showing up again in the missions list. Given the need of substantial amounts of cash to go into space for real, I decided to redo most of those missions for profit and science and carry on in the most inefficient and insane ways for goals like reaching Pluto.

    =================
    [​IMG]

    A New Space Paradigm

    "If we want to break the tyranny of the rocket equation, new paradigms of operating and new technology will be needed. If we keep to our rockets, they must become as routine, safe, and affordable as airplanes. One of the most rudimentary and basic skills to master is to learn how to use raw materials from sources outside the Earth. Our nearest planetary neighbor, the Moon is close, useful, and interesting. Extracting and producing useful products from the raw materials of the Moon would relieve us from the need to drag everything required in space from the bottom of Earth’s deep gravity well, significantly altering the consequences of the rocket equation more in our favor."

    --NASA Expedition 30/31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit, "The Tyranny of the Rocket Equation"​



    Decent rewards were offered for yet another Spacewalk. GarfunkeL was assigned for this "been there, done that" mission.

    [​IMG]

    Compared to the first single person rocket to reach low Earth Orbit, the new model was much more efficient and sophisticated, using a "Skipper" engine at first and detachable radial fuel tanks.

    [​IMG]

    Followed by small radial engines with a superb thrust-to-weight ratio and phase-out fairings that magically stop being solid once detached from the last two stages, allowing them to pass through them like a ghost rocket.

    (Forgot to manually eject the fairings)

    [​IMG]

    Almost there.

    (Those engines lack RealPlume effects but why bother?)

    [​IMG]

    Another routine mission completed.

    [​IMG]

    Another corporation hired Morgan Interstellar to set their own communications network in Outer Space. It was a very lucrative contract.

    [​IMG]

    From Mars to Mercury, perfect communications are now established. But sometimes, things would not work as planned:

    [​IMG]

    Like a rocket launching a new satellite being pitched down too soon during launch.

    [​IMG]

    It happens.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately those mistakes were not critical.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately some silly African Union contractors don't understand how space communications work. In the end, however, all the income would still be enough to fund some very extravagant missions.

    (Technically this contract is IMPOSSIBLE in Real Solar System but technically there would be communications to Jupiter regardless of stated maximum range thanks to RSS changes to the way RemoteTech works, but those silly contracts will disregard such details. Should I cheat its success or keep this contract forever incomplete?)

    [​IMG]

    Extravagant missions such as a direct injection to Pluto with no gravity assists because that is too much complicated math for the rocket scientists of the African Union. Building massive rockets with cheap labor having enough Delta-V for a direct route to Pluto, whether it will be enough for a very ambitious and unlikely orbit or more likely for a mere flyby, is easier. Now if this proves just enough for a flyby, all those instruments will prove pointless, but this will be a very, very long journey to Pluto in any case. Most people who approved such mission might have died of old age by the time it finally reaches its destination.

    However, the transfer window to Pluto was still months away. There was another very important mission to be done first: the first test off-planet production of rocket fuel, something that could dramatically extend the operational range of future space missions and dramatically reduce future costs, something that would allow for a new class of reusable spacecrafts, meant to never return to Earth and refuel in space, a new paradigm in space exploration.

    [​IMG]

    Good thing old memes sometimes are forgotten... otherwise the name of this rocket would have caused a shitstorm.



    [​IMG]

    About a hundred Somalis died due to the complete lack of work safety during the construction of this rocket. Cost savings, because life is very cheap in Africa.

    [​IMG]

    Morgan Moon Man brought such deaths, but it was worthwhile.

    [​IMG]

    Except there were serious flaws in the first design, which would become very obvious shortly after its fairings were ejected.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Absolutely no stability. Having two tiny docking ports connecting heavy ISRU modules was a very bad idea.

    [​IMG]

    But after that stage ran out of fuel and was decoupled, it proved stable enough to continue the maneuver towards the Moon.

    [​IMG]

    A storage for ore, a converter and above them the rocket engines pulling them forward. Plus some scientific instruments. Supposing it can land on the Moon without problems, it will the be a watershed: the first ISRU operation of Morgan Interstellar.

    [​IMG]

    Information on exact numbers of ore concentrations is unavailable. It will be somewhat of a blind Moon Landing and the drills the Moon Man is equipped with require at least 5% concentration to work. Otherwise it will be mission failure.

    However, during the landing maneuver...

    [​IMG]

    Fuel ran out...

    [​IMG]

    Morgan Moon Man came at the cost of about 100 Somali lives... for nothing.

    A new Moon Man had to be built, and the new one had even more work accidents. Its construction came at the cost of almost a thousand Eritrean lives.

    [​IMG]

    Instead of launching the rocket and the ISRU modules at once, they would instead be launched individually for a Lunar rendezvous and docking, which should prevent the worst problems of the previous attempt.

    Hopefully this time it will not fail, for besides the cost in lives caused by work accidents, there is also the monetary cost, and this new design was almost as big as the largest rockets of the Xu Program. As a Brown Khazarian melonhead, Nwabudike Morgan would shed no tears even if six million niggers died.

    [​IMG]

    The first launch of the new Moon Man also caused some fires in the launchpad and killed 8 employees of the Makoua Space Center. Fortunately the rocket itself survived. Could be a curse, almost like if the rocket had a consciousness of its own determined to kill black people.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately the second launch of the new Moon Man happened without any incidents, and now it was on the way to a landing where it hopefully won't run out of fuel.

    [​IMG]

    Each of those three boosters fell right on top of a nearby African village, killing dozens with their impacts. The curse of the Moon Man carried on.

    [​IMG]

    Then, when some fairings covering the docking ports were ejected... everything started to go wrong.

    [​IMG]

    ...

    A second Moon Man was manufactured all over again, this time with even more work accidents. Almost 2,000 Congolese died during its construction.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully this time it won't be wasted again. By avoiding to eject the fairings the worst problems have been avoided, and a stable orbit around Earth was achieved. The maneuver to the Moon was being planned while the other module would be launched soon.

    [​IMG]

    Another big and very, very important difference compared to its predecessor was the new model of docking port. Given there was no technology available to build larger docking ports, a workaround was found in having four simultaneous dockings. The refinery and ore storage would also be together instead of separate modules for the sake of saving weight and ensuring better stability. Curiously, the construction of this rocket and the components within claimed almost no lives in work accidents, which made the Moon Man become an urban legend in Africa, a legend on how "the ghost of an evil whitey who wants to kill all niggers always possesses any rocket named 'Moon Man'"

    [​IMG]

    The refinery had a nuclear reactor, so night launches were no problem.

    [​IMG]

    While docking on Earth's orbit would probably be simpler in the end, everything was already planned towards docking the two modules on lunar orbit instead.

    [​IMG]

    So far, so good. Both were heading towards the Moon, and had more than enough fuel remaining for their planned mission.

    [​IMG]

    But even better, while such mission was underway, an opportunity to gain access to bleeding edge technology showed itself. As long as no rocket that uses experimental nuclear engines is named Moon Man, it should be OK.

    [​IMG]

    The Moon Man reusable cargo lifter discards the transfer stage in preparation for docking with the experimental lunar refinery.

    [​IMG]

    Maneuvers are made, and a lag above 1 second will make this complicated even with autopilot.

    [​IMG]

    Those delays would make trying to dock under 100% manual control pure masochism.

    [​IMG]

    Even manual throttling was complicated, but it was getting close.

    [​IMG]

    Almost there.

    [​IMG]

    The only thing better than one docking is four!

    Technically this isn't meant to be a space station, but whatever.

    [​IMG]

    Here goes nothing.

    Despite all fears, this time there was more than enough fuel for the landing, but... there was another problem:

    [​IMG]

    An autopilot code pushing all the reaction wheels of the Moon Man and Experimental Lunar Refinery to the limits was the only reason it was not tumbling down. This would never work in the long term. It was nothing but a very expensive demonstrator to a new technology. But at least it proved this will work, and therefore, through extraction of resources from the Moon and beyond, new missions to the farthest reaches of the Solar System might finally become practical.

    [​IMG]

    However, producing enough fuel to fill it up and complete a contract of delivering such ore to Earth's orbit would take over a month.

    [​IMG]

    Longer than the time remaining for the transfer window to Pluto. Therefore, an even larger unmanned rocket would be launched, to reach the farthest edges of Sol.

    [​IMG]

    The Mi-GoSat was on the way to Pluto.

    [​IMG]

    But would it have enough fuel to do it?

    [​IMG]

    That is a question which answer will only arrive for sure in over two years from now. As for the planned Pluto encounter in this mission... it would take a lifetime for African standards.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, the Experimental Refinery has done its job. Time to return to Earth's orbit.

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't as prestigious as manned mission, but it was an even more important milestone in the future of manned space exploration.

    [​IMG]

    As for Uranium Refineries in outer space, there is not even close to enough technology to pull that off for now, but something is being planned for the sake of science and technology, a renewal of the manned space missions, farther than all previous ones, the first manned space mission to go beyond Earth's sphere of influence, this time with a larger crew of 3 brave astronauts. Destination: the potentially mineral rich Mercury.

    TO BE CONTINUED AND COMMENT HERE PLZ
     
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  4. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

    GarfunkeL
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    15,456
    Location:
    Insert clever insult here
    Woooooooo, I survived my space walk!
     
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  5. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    3,803
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Suicidal Meat Slapper Learned

    Suicidal Meat Slapper
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Amerikwa
     
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  7. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    I'm asking you to bump this to page 4.

    You might notice some changes in the general quality of graphics. While I at first installed the scatterer mod which made Earth look prettier, a new update for it changed it from roughly functional with a few adjustments to utterly glitched in Real Solar System so I had to uninstall it later. If the saved game used for this Let's Play can survive the transition to the coming 1.1 version, the general quality of graphics will eventually be improved.

    ===========

    [​IMG]

    Science through superior nuclear power.

    "Morgan Interstellar research facilities shall remain off-limits to the U.N. Inspectors. We possess no weapons of mass destruction, we are not researching nuclear weapons, and we shall not allow the United Nations to violate our trade secrets in the name of this ridiculous witch hunt!"

    -- Mobuto Dikembe, Director of Public Relations.​

    Theme :M

    [​IMG]

    The launch of some new satellites with gravimetric detectors have provided enough experience for new technological developments. Attitude control was a serious limitation for too long already. It's long overdue to improve this field of rocket science.

    [​IMG]

    To further study variations of Earth's gravity, a probe designed to be capable of surviving reentry will be launched at dawn.

    [​IMG]

    Such simple mission has an important role, for the ambitious plan of creating a permanent and manned uranium refinery on the Moon still requires much technological advancement.

    [​IMG]

    Multiple measurements were taken, the more fragile antennas were retracted to survive reentry, the parachutes were programmed to deploy at 8 km of altitude, the probe's attitude control was configured to always face the retrograde of ground velocity and the probe maneuvered for reentry. Even if it loses contact with mission control, its avionics should take it from here(with Remotetech, autopilot is a must for doing probe reentries because the odds of losing communications are quite high most of the time)

    [​IMG]

    It was holding up well so far.

    [​IMG]

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    Definitively worth its launch cost.

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    There is one more source of further advancement. Much of the Moon is still unknown, and an actual Apollo-grade mission has yet to raise the flag of the African Union in the Moon. Better capsules are researched in preparation for the first African moon landing with three astronauts.

    [​IMG]

    One final measurement of gravity missed by the recoverable probe was made during a routine touristic space trip.

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    Better altimetry scanners will give very accurate information on slopes and altitudes on the Moon, which will be critical to ensure the right choice of location for a lunar base is made. Furthermore they will get paid for it. To send such scanner to the Moon, a rocket near identical to the previous ones that deployed lunar satellites will be used.

    [​IMG]

    Another source of more funding was achieved by this mission.

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    In a few weeks a complete and highly detailed topographic map of the Moon will be available.

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    With more scientific advances, improvements in construction techniques essential for building bases and stations off-planet will finally have their beginning, but it's still far away. Larger docking ports are a good start, but it's not enough.

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    Being able to refuel spacecrafts arriving from Earth in lunar orbit would make missions with very high delta-V requirements have only a fraction of their current cost. Being able to construct spacecraft in a low gravity environment like the Moon would reduce such costs even further, but that is still far, far away from happening. In fact, with currently available technology this mission is not yet possible.

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    The first year of operations is over. It was a fruitful year, but other than the first successful production of rocket fuel from materials extracted from the lunar surface, it was marked mostly by "others already been there, done that decades ago" achievements. This is about to change, for the second fiscal year of Morgan Interstellar will also become the moment to transcend what past space programs already achieved and go where no men have ever been.

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    Not yet. Satellites will be sent to Mars soon. Another "others been there, done that" but it could be worth it.

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    The near correct timing for the launch is at night. Sending stuff to Mars costs less than sending stuff to Mercury, something that makes the idea of trying to explore the latter economically only sound if it proves to be incredibly resource-rich.

    All launches to Mars were successful, three satellites sent there for the sake of studying its surface, perhaps studying its tiny satellites Phobos and Deimos and for creating a communications network that allows communications with Earth all the time over most of its surface. No attempts to change orbit inclination were made. Instead, course corrections would be done in orbit of the Sun.

    [​IMG]

    When each of the three satellites were ready for course corrections, the signal lag was so massive that it was completely impossible to try anything under manual override mode.

    [​IMG]

    All of them will arrive on Mars, almost at the end of the current year. Meanwhile, a contract to test a nuclear engine on the Moon arrived from sources that Morgan Interstellar preferred to not divulge. Such nuclear thermal rockets had a much better specific impulse but a much worse thrust to weight ratio than regular chemical rockets. They would prove very useful for the goal of studying the closest planet to the Sun, specially because micro-fission technology matured in the mid 21st century and quite small versions of such nuclear rockets could be constructed.

    [​IMG]

    Taking advantage of experimental nuclear thermal rockets, The Mercurial Prospector is intended to orbit Mercury and perhaps, if everything go as planned, even land on it. That is why it has such a massive delta-V. However, the landing part might be very tricky given how massive the light speed lag will be between Mercury and Earth and it's far more likely a landing on Mercury will have to be done by an either massively more expensive or far more technologically advanced manned mission to the same planet.

    There is a problem during the wait for the transfer window to Mercury, though: the deadline for the contract to test those experimental nuclear rockets on the Moon is running out. Therefore, the Mercurial Prospector will be launched early on and stay in Earth's orbit for over a month waiting for the transfer window because soon this technology might no longer be available.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Another massive unmanned rocket going up.

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    After thousands of tons dropped away, it's finally orbiting Earth an ready to commence the trans-Mercurial injection once in the right time for it. Now, only 24 days left to test those nuclear engines on the Moon. There is a contract to plant yet another flag on it too, so why not both?

    [​IMG]

    Thus, the Xu program finally leads to the development of a rocket as effective and "safe" as the Saturn V, except it doesn't need docking, being designed for a direct ascent moon landing, and is more lightweight than the Saturn V thanks to the use of nuclear technology. New studies proved that the PR cost of not having a launch abort system is higher than the savings from ditching one, and fairings now can be used to make one that doesn't look hideous and doesn't make it impossible to also have a parachute or something else on the capsule. The Xu-4 capsule includes two actual beds for the astronauts to take shifts and sleep for the sake of comfort, and a very useful life support system.

    [​IMG]

    Its launch is a success. Many of the crewmen of the program were capable in multiple fields and could swap roles between pilot, engineer or scientist without much difficulty. Suicidal Meat Slapper would be the pilot during this mission, Hellraiser would be the engineer while Alienman, as any scientist, would be responsible for studying their landing spot through EVA.

    [​IMG]

    One of the innovative features of the Xu-4 capsule is fully revealed once it becomes clear the launch abort system won't be needed: an integrated, semi-closed cycle life support system capable of producing more food, water and oxygen out of waste. It's not a generation ship grade fully self-sufficient biosphere, but it's a first step in this other essential field for the creation of permanent bases in the Moon and beyond.

    There was a problem too: the ejection of the fairings holding the LAS accidentally crashed one of the collapsible radiators in the nuclear powered lander stage. Hopefully the remaining two will be enough to prevent too much overheating.

    [​IMG]

    The chemical rocket stages proved enough for a low Earth Orbit and the NTR trans-lunar injection stage mostly does it job after some very long burns and multiple passes over Earth because of its low TWR. The other nuclear engine has a better TWR because it's going to land on the Moon, supported by landing legs so large they had to be launched exposed because fairings massive enough to cover them were impractical.

    [​IMG]

    However, half way through the first 3-manned moon landing a problem is revealed: the life support recycling systems are insufficient for 3 men. They will only somewhat extend the duration of the life support, rather than keep recycling them continually as long as there is a supply of fertilizer for its plants genetically modified for this very purpose. This could lead to serious trouble, but it's too late to abort.

    [​IMG]

    The testing of the engine is complete while the Xu-4 prepares its landing burn.

    [​IMG]

    Now there is no turning back. Because of its low TWR an actually suicide burn would have a likely literal meaning with such nuclear thermal rockets. Hopefully the lander will not run out of fuel before the landing is done and this won't be a terrible, tragic mistake.

    [​IMG]

    Well...

    [​IMG]

    TO BE CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
     
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  8. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,752
    Location:
    Danzig, Potato-Hitman Commonwealth
    You could always force the broken survey contract objective to be marked as complete with the debug menu (alt+f12 I believe). Gilly and some other space potatoes sometimes have those issues with survey objectives in stock.
     
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  9. Suicidal Meat Slapper Learned

    Suicidal Meat Slapper
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Amerikwa
    Bump. :salute:
     
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  10. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    In real life building nuclear thermal rockets so small as the ones I used in the game scaled down through TweakScale is probably technologically impossible. But don't worry. There is an explanation, hinted by this design I hope to eventually use for the purpose stated by its own name:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :M
     
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  11. Joined on the 4th of July Arcane

    Joined on the 4th of July
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,441
    Bump for page 4.


    I managed to get my manned lunar lander, that tipped over in landing, back to orbit. It involved gently sliding up a hillside with those very small multidirectional engines (or maybe very little from main engine, don't remember), reaching the ridge top and doing a small jump, then full burn with main engine while off ground. Also several shameful reloads.
     
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  12. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,199
    Location:
    Over there.
    Another bump for Page 4. I'm in the middle of doing a Curiosity sky crane mission. Wheeeee!
     
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  13. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    If you want to send wheeled vehicles into space, you gotta do it with style. The following is the kind of stuff a Kinshasa Space Center(or Top Gear) with a massive enough budget would do:



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    BUMP

    :M :M :M

    PS: Went to orbit with that Reliant Robin and de-orbited by using the last SRB gimbal to go retrograde during the last seconds of its burn. No shit. And yes, it's a lulz part with a lulz heat resistance. I could mod it to behave realistically and incinerate unless it's strapped above a big heat shield, but why should I?

    :M
     
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  14. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,199
    Location:
    Over there.
    Okay, topkek and points for that. :D I was wondering if there was a Reliant Robin for KSP.

    Still, you know, this wasn't exactly easy to pull off. http://imgur.com/a/pFMfc (album)

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
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  16. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    Vault City
    Bump.

    Once I'm done with this LP I'll consider doing one for Underrail or Age of Decadence. The 1.1 64-bit version of this game will break save game compatibility. Not enough people care about this LP so if it doesn't get to Page 4 before the 1.1 beta of KSP ends I'll just abandon it for real. Why bother when I can just bask in brofists with witty and politically incorrect one-liners instead?

    :M
     
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  17. Taliensin Educated

    Taliensin
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Secret Moon Base
    nah, this is the best LP in here after magna vinland, please continue enriching the solar system and i promise i'll give you all the brofists you want in a year of so (though underrail sounds good)
     
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  18. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,209
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    I've played the heck out of Underrail, absolutely loved the game. AoD on the other hand I've barely started. Haven't really had it in me yet to really sit down with the game. So I guess an AoD LP would be nice. :bro:
     
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  19. Joined on the 4th of July Arcane

    Joined on the 4th of July
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,441
    Bump for edgy one-liners ...I mean Kerbals.

    Only 6 more micro-issues and we're on page 4.
     
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  20. Cassidy Arcane

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

    [​IMG]

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    PS: Sadly I didn't have any actual pyramid shaped parts.
     
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  21. Taliensin Educated

    Taliensin
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Secret Moon Base
    i hope this is the first module of the WEWUZ space station
     
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  22. Cassidy Arcane

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

    Taliensin
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Secret Moon Base
    you know,i think you can win the game by placing one of those in geosynchronous orbit over bernie sander's house
     
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  24. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,199
    Location:
    Over there.
    Page 4 hype-u...?
     
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  25. Taliensin Educated

    Taliensin
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Secret Moon Base
    Damocle's sword aint got nuffins on tyrone,much bump.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
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