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, 8 March 2016

Back to the old ideas

So, here I am. Tech tree wide open. But not enough cash to do everything I want. And still there are those two missions which require me to drop a big surface outpost on Minmus and a station into solar orbit. I had this huge nuclear vessel designed, however, it had too many parts and was too expensive to launch. Stupid me; now, a few game sessions later it just dawns on me that I there is a lot of leeway to build a similar big vessel by using bigger and thus lesser parts!

A new try at design, which I already had in my last career game. The Omniscient class is reborn. The advantage to use non-nuclear engines definitely is: lesser part count! This one consists of precisely 255 parts, the maximum I can build right now. It take a while to put this together, but then I feel certain, I can get this one to Minmus and into solar orbit. I baptise it, like in my last career game, the Navitas.


What looks so proud and easy here in fact takes a whole game session until I figure out the right configuration for the launch stages. The usual problems with molochs like this: Drag prevents the usual gravity turn. Turn too early and that thing flips and is out of control. I discover a trick to actually use advanced SAS functionality: Launch vertical until 50m/s, then turn manually to  ~-10 degree prograde. At 6,000 meters or at 200m/s, switch to SAS prograde autopilot. Done, no more trouble, as it executes the best possible gravity turn into orbit!

First stage, with the heavy-duty Mainsail engines, decoupled. One reload was needed to find out that I needed those little separator rockets in order to push the stage away, lest they would collide with the vessel and destroy vital parts.

Second launch stage, with the mid-range Skipper engines, decoupled. Now it is a very closely timed contest of four meager Poodle engines with a TWR of 0.4 versus gravity. It takes four reloads until I figured out that I practically have to activate them immedeately and spend more deltaV on a higher orbit.

Finally, the result of a full game session of reloaded launches. The Navitas is in orbit. Man, am I proud! It is staffed with all crew I could muster, 2 pilots, 6 engineers and 4 scientist. Why so many? Well, a landing on Minmus plus a solar orbit will boost all of them to experience level three. And I want to see how much the planned mining on Minmus will be amplified with all those engineers on board!

A slight misplanning: The tourist who booked a Minmus orbit is still sitting in the Transit Terminal, in an orbit on the other side of Kerbin. How useful the Lander is! With little fuel use, I bring with it the tourist over here to the Navitas.

I undocked the Lander and want to send him back to Transit Terminal, then I realize: There are two rescue missions at Minmus; the Lander is perfect for doing them, as it of course needs a lot less fuel for the required orbital course corrections. So I quickly dock it a gain, at a better position for maneuvering the Navitas with it, and bring it along.

Orbital ejection burn to Minmus! A grand expedition is on its way!

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