Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Tour de Kerbin 2

If I wouldn´t do regular screenshots, I would quickly forget about all those little achievements which make the fun of playing Kerbal Space Programme, especially when I don´t have enough time to promty write my blog entry.

The condensed experience sounds boring: Assembled and plotted course for, and landed a bunch of spaceships! Some more details, and the emerging game experience shines again through. So, here some more screenshots than usual.

- Refilled the Scientia 2 and set it from Minmus on course towards Kerbin, bringing along some scientific stuff. 

- travel will take some days... did not opt for this "Mun-breaker" course, preferred a direct, faster return, as I had enough spare deltaV

I also refilled the Mission Lander and set it from Mun on course towards Kerbin, bringing along some scientific stuff. The travel will take some days, too.

- my Munbus finally reached that faulty satelite in Kerbin orbit and refueled it

In the meanwhile, the mission control center threw some contracts at me, which were easy to do, but took some game time anyways. Satelite contracts, rescue contracts, mainly. Like this, I was able to get two more scientists for my crew roster. This will enable me to install a rotation of scientists between my various active Mobile Labs floating around in my Scientia-class space crafts. I swear, if I continue this completionist-approach and take and fulfil every close-ranged contract, I might only arrive at Duna by end of the year, real life, if I am lucky!

- White Goose launching for an emergency rescue contract (yeah, could have picked a smaller and more cost efficient spaceplane!)

- here a nice impression from my newly installed "engine-lightning" mod

- drifting-by the shipwrecked at 2km

- one more Kerbonaut saved!

- what a smooth landing approach, for once

One satelite contract got quite adventurious, though. The task required a polar orbit, so I launched my Cargo Shuttle accordingly. Mid-flight, I suddenly realised that it was a clock-wise polar orbit and I was headed counter-clockwise. The course correction sucked so much fuel that I was almost out of fuel once orbit was achieved.

 - up? no, down!

Thus, re-entry had to be very efficiently induced from the other side of Kerbin. This again made me misjudge the final re-entry point and have quite some atmospheric flight time. And, of course, fuel ran out. To make it worse, fuel ran out while flying over sea. But the coast line was visible, so I made an attempt to glide at least to the coast, from about 8km altitude. It was close; my Cargo Shuttle set down basically on the beach, and very roughly at that. But the plane as a whole did survive. Whew. I guess I have to be glad that my planes have plenty of wing lift rating, which allows also for some extented gliding once out of fuel! It is just a pity that I forgot to do a screenshot, as usual when I am tensely focused on gameplay.

The recovery value of the Cargo Shuttle was around 80%, which roughly is the price-turning point where a simple staged rocket might have been equally cost efficient. However, by means of the Cargo Shuttle, I had also a manned flight over Kerbin´s arctic region, and brought home virgin 8 science points from an EVA. So, it is overall still a positive outcome to have launched the Cargo Shuttle!

- EVA over Kerbin´s arctic region: + 8 science

My flag ship, the Omniscient, finally entered a low Minmus orbit and landed. This was kind of funny, because the biomes shift quite quickly under you if you completely kill orbital horizontal velocity. As such, I first had highlands, then lowlands, and finally set down on slopes. On slopes, again! Thanks to the Omniscient´s quadruple pillar structure, it remained standing upright, thank god.

- Minmus orbit, starting landing procedure

 - touchdown... slopes, again!

 - aaand again, cheeeeeeeeezz (for the XP)!

This quick shift of biomes while on landing approach means that I could have two adjacent biomes to take science from, if it was not for the fact that my flagship sucks fuel like an thirsty camel, making it ill-suited to waste energy even with some small hops in the low-gravity of Minmus. My flagship´s lander would be much better suited, so I could bring it down from orbit as well. However, I am not at much liberty with my low fuel reserves. So far, my lander´s fuel tank is like an iron reserve.

The Omniscient has about 700m/s deltaV left; the Fuel Ship awaits in polar orbit with about 720 units of fuel to transfer, but I have no idea if this altogether will be enough for going on solar orbit and get back to Kerbin. I will have to be super-efficient and I doubt that my piloting skill allows this. The first thing I wonder is, whether I should launch the Omniscient into polar orbit to rendez-vous with the Fuel Ship, or if it would better to go again into aequatorial orbit for a more fuel efficient transfer into solar orbit, but having to use a bunch of deltaV from the Fuel Ship, which is in polar orbit, for a rendez-vous then.

I will Kerbal this out in my next game session.

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