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)

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Minmus mining gets supplemented

My task list grows smaller, but it is hard work.

My specific design of a support vessel reaches Minmus.

In the meanwhile, my first Grand Tour de Kerbin for those tourists with the Spacefish draws to a close. After several rounds of aerobraking, it will dock to the Orbital Terminal. Now it is just a matter of fetching them with a spaceplane.

Now for the difficult exercise of hitting a precice landing spot. Never did this before from orbit.

My mistake: I use the target-view on the navball and try to keep target and prograde marker overlapped. Bad mistake, as this ignores the constant downwards acceleration from Minmus´ gravity. Like this I waste over 200dV and don´t even reach my target.

Thankfully, the support vessel has plenty of monopropellant, Minmus a very low gravity, so that it can drag itself through Minmus sand to the Navitas. The Navitas has now had several days of mining with quite some overheating, with expecedly low results. Also, temperature gauges show up on almost every ship part. Uh oh. I would say I made a timely arrival of the much needed heat panels from the support vessel.

However, attaching the modules with the heat panels to the Navitas is very difficult. RCS thrusters cannot float the vessel, so I have to do with some dragging and rolling about. And that, on a rather steep slope. Which, at some point, indeed destroys one of the modules.

Some felt-like hours later, I have attached the remaining three modules. Already one of them was enough to cool the drills down to optimal temperature. Now, the mining and re-fueling of the Navitas should be only a matter of two or three days!

Like I learned from the forums, with the additional surface scanner active, the orbital survey scanner re-calibrates its result. I can see now that the previous marked area where the Navitas landed is in fact not an optimal one. Bad luck, but it is probably still more efficient to stick to the current location that trying another precise landing with a spacehulk like the Navitas is, just for a few percentage more.

Another game session passed by without much progress beyond this one specific mission. This teaches me to properly plan missions. Both my efforts with the Sagitta in my last game session and this one with the Navitas would have been completely unnecessary if I had had the spacecrafts correctly designed. But I guess this is what the game is about: Trial and error which creates new and unexpected challenges, just like it does happen all too frequently in real life.

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