Yeah, one longer session on the Kerbal Space Programm on the weekend, and it is already difficult to just remember all the fleet maneuvering which transpired. I have had a long ramp up phase, constantly injecting new ideas and missions, so I had it coming! Better I immediately put this into a blog entry before I continue, it´s plenty of stuff.
It took surprisingly long to get the Fuel Dragon back into a working condition. Once more, I went through all user errors you can do:
- Forgetting struts on the wings; plane breaks down directly after placing it on the runway. Yeah, this thing is 131 tons heavy.
- these wings to not hold without well placed struts
- Some more tries to realize it actually needs two long struts from the hull to the outer engine nascelle, but then the construct is totally rigid.
- Placing the landing gear in a too long streched triange; plane veers off sideways during takeoff as soon as I pitch up.
- Forgetting airbrakes.
- Forgetting a docking port.
- one of the many failed tests
Then, a test flight reveals that the SAS unit (Octo) still heats up while in that new cargo bay. Looking at its heat tolerance value, I can see why; it is only 1200 degrees instead of the usual 2000 for plane parts and 2400 for rocket parts. So I add two of those new radiator panels to the wings. Better, but still heats up. I resort the order of installation in the cargo bay and therebuy turn the Octo upside down, with the result that my plane dives into the ground after liftoff...
- why don´t they have air-conditioning in the cargo bay?
In the end, I cannot eliminate the heat gauges to appear during my ascend, but at least they stay green. No guarantee that this will hold during re-entry. But again, I do the mistake to not test the re-entry while the "reload flight" button is still available. But frankly, if it does not work now, then I am out of advice. All the more, because the White Goose did work fine so far with its Octo unit.
After the Dragon is finally up in orbit in a satisfactory configuration, it is time to get ahead with "busy day". All in all, this briefly retold episode already cost me at least two thirds of a very extended weekend game session.
- finally a new working version of the Fuel Dragon
The Fuel Ship does its last aerobrake into LKO and gets to dock to the Dragon. The Scientia 2 is a bit late and still requires two more aerobraking orbits, then I get impatient and use up the rest of its deltaV reserves to achieve a rendez-vous-able LKO. While watching the vessel close-up, I realize something which I had forgotten. There are no RCS maneuver thrusters on it. They were still locked in a tech node when I had built this ship, which was just inteded as a lab-space-station for a Minmus orbit.
- falling star? better not!
So, how to dock this thing? I could use the Dragon´s RCS, but frankly, from my past experiences while refueling the Omniscient those are really only for emergency and no fun to use. I am sure this has not changed, even though I fiddled a little bit with the positioning of the RCS thrusters, too. The best option therefore is to get the Fuel Ship to the Scientia 2 to tank it up. Then get it back to the Dragon to refill the Fuel Ship itself and finally send it to Mün, where two landers and the Scientia are already waiting for a long time.
- the Scientia 2 is thirstier than I thought
After I execute this plan, I realize that this might be a complicated and unnecessary maneuver. The Scientia 2 has science and crew on board which needs to get to Kerbin, so the White Goose needs to visit it, anyways, which probably can fill it up already.
In the end, it turns out that all is fine as is; the Scientia 2 has quadruple engine nascelles which together store an additional 720 units of fuel, which I had forgotten about. So, even the Fuel Ship is not able to replenish the Scientia 2 fully and bringing in the White Goose still makes sense.
- the Navitas has quickly reached Minmus
In the meanwhile, a whole bunch of vessels reaches Minmus; the OreScanSat, the Tripol and the Navitas. My scedule is very tight and every 10 minutes or so, another spaceship requires my attention. My Minmus landing and ore operations will have to wait until all ships are in place.
Late to realize but making me very happy: That one contract which
required me to build a space station in Minmus orbit is finally
satisfied with the arrival of the Navitas. There wasn´t any GUI message
about it, but I sure took notice of the extra 230k credits on my
I am busy collecting triple science datasets on the Tripol, then undock it and bring it into an orbit. Once more I change plans and also put the Münbus into orbit. I did this on a whim, because after undocking, I saw that both now separate vessels have enough deltaV left. Also, I confused a rescue mission contract, which I had intended the Münbus for; however, this rescue is needed at a low Mün orbit, not Minmus.
- the Tripol is getting ready for its multiple landing missions
In the end, I am lucky again, because, sifting through my numerous contracts, I see the one which requires me to recover a vessel, which was in a Minmus orbit, on Kerbin. Having had misread this contract, I had thought the Scientia 2 would be the ship to fulfil this one. However, I did not realize that you need to actually land the ship, and I certainly do not want to decomission the Scientia 2 with its still filled up Mobile Lab! So, now, since I wanted to take the Münbus out of service anyways, I can do this via this contract even with a profit.
With another bit of luck, I find a return course for the Münbus which intersects with Mün. The conics do not show after Mün, but since it will enter retrograde to Mün´s orbit, it should save a lot of deltaV for arriving at Kerbin.
- this course via Mün should deplete angular momentum and thus get the Münbus a very low Kerbin periapsis
Concering Mün, the Yawl made orbit and is on its way to rendez-vous with the Scientia. I can take my time there, because without the Fuel Ship bringing in a load, the essential juice is missing over there.
- Yawl arriving in Mün orbit
A long session has to end; I don´t remember every detail, but this was the gist of it. In the next session, I will hopefully have finalized distributing my 12 involved spaceships and can then proceed with all the anticipated landings.