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Talk about an addictive game...

 

I successfully worked my way through a Mercury program, with a single pilot capsule and initially suborbital flights followed by a series of orbital flights. I then moved into a Gemini/Apollo program, with a multi-crew capsule. I started this effort with a rather more organized method:

 

I assembled a default Command Module/Reentry-vehicle with abort mechanism etc.

 

I then assembled a Service Module which I was able to set as a Subassembly - meaning I can make different versions (say a long duration one, or a crew shuttle one or...).

 

The combined CSM I then launch tested (turns out the TWR for my Mk I CM and Mk I SM is sufficient to actually launch), and I successfully tested the abort system as well (and a good thing too for subsequent flights).

 

The Launch Booster system I moved on too took much more effort. My first booster did not have enough power to get off the pad. The second one did, but as the fuel drained it became unstable and I had to pull the abort to save the crew. The followon mod led to a catestrophic pad failure, but the abort system again saved the crew.

 

A few more tweaks and I got into orbit, followed by some very solid and reliable CSM orbit booster (I'm still using too much of the CSM delta-V to circularize the orbit). Next up, Rendezvous, Docking, EVA.

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A few more tweaks and I got into orbit, followed by some very solid and reliable CSM orbit booster (I'm still using too much of the CSM delta-V to circularize the orbit). Next up, Rendezvous, Docking, EVA.

 

Sounds like your booster needs more delta Vee. You want to get to a point where your CSM is used for Mun or Minimus return burns only.

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Actually, my problem was too low an ISP on the primary booster. When I increased the available delta-V, my TWR was too low, and burned too much of the fuel before it got moving. My current one has too much fuel in the 2nd stage. An iterative improvement to be sure. But I think I have a second stage booster which I can modify to hold a lander etc. and do TLI, leaving the CSM for lunar orbit capture and subsequent return.

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I'm actually trying to do this without SRBs. I used them in my Mercury Missions, but now I'm trying to go without.

 

So far, so good. I did a full checkout series on a large Command Module (5 crew), and an extended duration Service Module last night. Even have my two stage boosters get me reliably to orbit with enough dV to spare to get me to a TLI or do a heavy lift.

 

My next wrinkle is figuring out how to deorbit the boosters after placing my CSM/Primary Payload in orbit. I'm getting a fair number of boosters hanging out in orbit.

 

 

My next decision point is between building an orbital station, or going for a Moon Shot.

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  • 2 months later...

I have spent WAY too much time playing this game between late-night feedings and diaper changes... but it is an amazing game, especially with some of the realism mods. I actually learned quite a bit about the real solar system that surprised me (such as just how high an inclination orbit the Moon is). While I know it isn't real rocket science, it is far, far closer to it than anyone not doing real rocket science has a chance to get.

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When you get to the point that you can eyeball a rendezvous of another space craft in a different orbit, you're starting to get to the point of having a nice feel for some orbital mechanics. Obviously the data read outs indicating your periapsis/apoapsis and inclination indicate some VERY good computing and tracking for your "spacecraft" but it's still a lovely thing to get to.

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I've been working through Gene Kratnz's book on his experiences as Flight Director at Mission Control, and Andrew Chaiken's book "A Man on the Moon" about the Apollo program. It took them DAYS to calculate the trajectories that KSP generates in real time - and yes, KSP uses the same "Sphere of Influence" method that NASA used for the Moon Landings.

 

Also interesting seeing the struggles they had with orbital rendezvous and docking that I've had to figure out myself... especially on the highly inclined orbits (as opposed to an equatorial launch site and roughly 0* inclination orbit).

 

Launch Windows, Orbital alignments, etc... NASA makes it look easy. Trivial. It is anything but.

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  • 8 months later...

After a hiatus due to ungodly workload during the day and a curious toddler at night, I am finally back to Kerbal. I'm playing now on a Quarter Scale Real Solar System, running a historic contract set with stocklike historic parts.

 

Tonight, I took another step in my Apollo program with the launch of the SA-3 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_I_SA-3). I geeked out so much on launching Apollo Hardware from Apollo Launchstands that I took screengrabs. Now I wish I had been doing so all along - I finished the Mercury missions a few days ago and started the Gemini test-flights recently, but took no screengrabs).

 

g1gbAQb.png

 

FjKRpSi.png

 

eP2RaYF.png

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No. It's a mod called "Bluedog Design Bureau".

 

For comparison, the Squad Making history Apollo:

maxresdefault.jpg

 

Bluedog Design Bureau Apollo:

 

 

one is a very toy-like version (Making History), and one is a very realistic model of the historic (Bluedog).

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Ran a few missions tonight.

Gemini II (umanned suborbital test flight)

A0orVWN.png

 

LoNypmP.png

 

r8aI9ob.png

 

9yeDQmF.png

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And Gemini III - first manned Gemini mission (my standins for Gus Grissom and John Young)

NeAMYce.png

 

1fg4Wyd.png

 

m2CcgXf.png

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Bob Kerman took Ed White's place on the Gemini-IV EVA. Even after very many hours in this game, I still don't have a good handle on EVA maneuvering. Even with the tether it was challenging to get back in. Guess I'll need to add more handles to grip for the next EVA mission.

SNBZ42K.png

 

SKbGfN7.png

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That mirrors history well enough, when EVA went from floating around to doing things outside, the astronauts reached the same conclusion.

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Part of my problem was the winch was too large to fit in the capsule, so it had to be mounted in the service module. I launched into standbox with the winch located at the base of the hatch and it worked far more reliably. I could winch my astronaut back in and immediately grab hold of the grips at the hatch. Once I add grips along the service module it should be far easier to at least get back in.

 

Problem is, in my career game, I don't have enough science to unlock those grips AND unlock the boosters needed for the Apollo testing AND.... I'm sitting at about 80 science in the bank and I have at least 320 science needed to get access to critical pieces. I can't upgrade to the Saturn IB without unlocking certain engines (160) and I can't even start working on the Saturn V without unlocking the appropriate sized tanks and interstages (also 160). I unlocked the Block I Apollo CM and SM so I am able to do the boilerplate Apollo Capsule missions (testing heatshields, abort systems, landing systems). I need still to unlock a docking mechanism (90 IIRC) and the MechJeb AutoDock (550 IIRC - this one may wait until well into the Apollo program). I will probably have to do the Gemini MOL program to unlock enough science to enable everything I need. As you can see from my Kerbal Alarm Clock I have 15 years to land on the moon... so I am certain I can do it, but not as certain that I'll be able to mirror history as well. Mariner-2 is going to be tough... my next launch window for Venus is so close to the deadline for having accomplished the flyby that I will probably miss it (even if I have it launched).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Up next... Gemini "76" - the rendezvous of Gemini-VI with Gemini-VII

https://imgur.com/a/GRvH7pd

 

Had a battery fail during launch of Gemini-VII. This could have been disastrous, leaving me with just one battery at the start of a 14 day mission. I was able to effect repairs and continue the mission.

ZWfIpjc.png

 

12 days in, and Gemini-VII is ready for Gemini-VI to visit.

6jNbwgO.png

 

Gemini-VI closes with Gemini-VII

2gYaX0T.png

 

Kissing Distance over the Pacific

fEFHL9z.png

 

A view from one to the other during the flyarounds

towJRFY.png

 

Bunch more pics at the album link.

 

It was quite the challenge, getting to docking distance. The rendezvous itself was accomplished with the MechJeb onboard computer, but that only got me about 60m separation. The remainder of the close had to be done by hand and eye. Between the burns of the Hohmann Transfer one of the life support tanks sprung a leak, requiring some very fast work to close it off and retain as much as possible in the other tank without blowing the rendezvous burns. Fortunately there was MORE than enough supply in the remaining tank to last beyond the end of the mission. Had this happened to Gemini-VII it would have required an abort, as I would not have had enough supply to last the full 14 day mission. I really am enjoying the added complications of the DangIt! mod - random failures did in fact happen, and I don't like the idea of scripting the failures. Having to make the judgement calls and design decisions to deal with random failures, not just when everything goes right is a wonderful addition.

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I remember my rather helpless first attempts at docking, until I learned to interpret the related symbols on the artificial horizon. After a while, translating them into steering inputs becomes natural, and rendezvous become an everyday affair, provided you orient craft north to south on equatorial orbits so they don't change relative attitude during revolutions - and unless you run out of maneuvering fuel ...

 

I still can't steer Kerbalnauts on EVA worth shit though. Before the godsend of working docking locks, I usually attached ladders to either craft leading to each other's hatches when I knew I would have to transfer crews on a mission. That tether would have been a real bonus back then for me ...

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yeah... I've only done two EVAs so far in this runthrough, the first on Gemini-IV (described above), and then on Gemini-VII - to repair the battery. That one fit more of the "stand up EVA" standard, because I never had to let go of the capsule, just hang on outside and repair the battery.

 

Gemini-IX, X, XI, and XII are going to be tough. Lots of docking and EVAs to go. It's an excellent learning "bootstrap" program - which the historic one was too.

 

Meanwhile, I got Surveyor-1 soft-landed on the Moon.

z6tTEo8.png

Edited by CT96
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And a bunch of contract configurator mod bugs later, I managed to complete Gemini-VIII.

jpJ8C84.png

 

iFOeMZE.png

 

It's not as obvious in the second pic, but we're spinning out of control (quite rapidly, in fact).

full album here: https://imgur.com/a/isvANAd

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  • 1 year later...

I've been head down with work projects, home stuff and when I had time for gaming EU4.

As for KSP, there's a new version coming out.





Forum Thread here.
https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/187315-kerbal-space-program-2-master-post/

I haven't even looked at it yet. Edited by rmgill
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I've been head down with work projects, home stuff and when I had time for gaming EU4.

 

As for KSP, there's a new version coming out.

 

 

 

 

Forum Thread here.

https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/187315-kerbal-space-program-2-master-post/

 

I haven't even looked at it yet.

 

Fantastic trailer.

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