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Sturgeon

The Kerbal Space Program Total Sperg Zone

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1 hour ago, CobaltWolf said:

Hey y'all! Saw the notifications from this thread in my email (says how much I check that inbox...) and wanted to share if anyone missed it: BDB v1.5 released back in January! Here's the promotional album for the release, click the image to see the whole promotional album.

 

https://imgur.com/gallery/WkYHUBb

 

If you want to see what the next project is, click here and here. :)

 

 

 

 

 

I've got it downloaded and that I've been fast at work on new rocket designs. Personally, I'm beyond hyped for the new Titan II. I'm a huge Gemini Program fan. The current version of BDB is absolutely fantastic. I haven't toyed around with the new launch vehicles quite yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

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3 hours ago, CobaltWolf said:

Hey y'all! Saw the notifications from this thread in my email (says how much I check that inbox...) and wanted to share if anyone missed it: BDB v1.5 released back in January! Here's the promotional album for the release, click the image to see the whole promotional album.

 

https://imgur.com/gallery/WkYHUBb

 

If you want to see what the next project is, click here and here. :)

 

 

 

 

 

We were just talking about this the other day, do you know of anyone who is working on a universal wet workshop mod? I've got an SLS core stage in orbit that I wanna put Kerbals in.

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4 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

 

We were just talking about this the other day, do you know of anyone who is working on a universal wet workshop mod? I've got an SLS core stage in orbit that I wanna put Kerbals in.

 

No, never heard of something like that.

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1 minute ago, CobaltWolf said:

 

No, never heard of something like that.

 

Poo. Lately I've been working in RSS/RO, so I've mostly only been using the smaller bits of your mod, like separatrons and things. I did notice that the Saturn M02 seems a bit underpowered, but that's hardly your fault I think.

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Also, I'm noticing there's a disparity between the masses of payloads in RSS/RO, and the masses of IRL payloads. A fully loaded Orion with LAS and fairings is 78,010 lbs (~35.4 t) according to this data sheet, but in my KSP it's just 27.5 t. Likewise, my SLS Block 2D will "only" lift 70 unadjusted tonnes to LEO, which if we assume a constant ratio works out to about 90 tonnes. Except this ratio doesn't seem to be constant, because a loaded EUS + Orion + LAS and fairing is 175 t IRL, but in KSP it's just 80.7 t.

 

I'm going to test Block 1B here in a second to see what it does.

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nfMfcLH.jpg

 

1H0boyV.jpg

 

q1xuYjU.jpg

 

Next up in my quest to recreate cancelled Apollo Missions!  This is a recent set of screenshots from my Apollo LMSS Mission. Using some Agena parts, plus a telescope piece from Coatl Aerospace, I knocked together a KH-8-a-like photo reconnaissance pod and photolab for a 30 day polar orbit.

 

index.php?action=dlattach;topic=35495.0;

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This weekend I finished a major hurdle in KSP. I built a pretty decent replica of the Ares from Stephen Baxter's Voyage.

 

The Ares was a major construction hurdle in KSP for me. Usually if I wanted to explore a planet, I could put probes together, but i figured I'd aim for a manned vessel, and I figure I'd make it a big one.

 

The star of Voyage is the gigantic Ares cluster, which is a Saturn V derived Mars capable spacecraft built for a Mars mission in 1986. One of the more frustrating aspects of the novel is that the novel regularly takes time to whinge about the technological marvel that is the Ares. Regularly the central protagonist complains about the brutish Ares, and that the more elegant Shuttle should have been built in it's place. (In the Voyage-verse the Shuttle program is cancelled in favor of a NERVA engined Mars mission, and due to a fatal failure, the NERVA vessel is replaced by the Ares). This is regurgitated ad nauseam for the duration of the novel. Stephen Baxter makes some odd conclusions in the novel. A central highlight is that a large number of NASA unmanned missions are cancelled and as a result, the humans of the Voyage-verse know less about the Solar System (including Mars somehow) than we do. This is especially strange as it implicitly makes the claim that two Viking Landers would generate more scientific knowledge than a mobile geologist during a 30 day surface stay.

 

Like I said however, the star of the novel is the Ares spacecraft. It's all kinds of neat. It's built around a central propulsion core with an SIIC Tank complete with 5 J-2s. It's also got the added SIIC Fuel tanks which it drags along as drop tanks. The Ares is prime KSP material. The bulged section is the MEM. I used the MEM mod to provide the craft, and built the shrowd around it. Just forward of that is an SIVB living space ala Skylab, and ahead of that is the docking segment and Apollo CSM. One of the neat parts of the Ares is that it requires some reassembly at various stages throughout the flight. It's a pretty complicated Spacecraft and I ran a series of tests, during which I snapped a few screenshots. The flights were around the Kerbin System with two flights, one unsuccessful flight to minmus, and a huge successful Mun mission. The Ares is absolutely the largest spacecraft I've built in KSP at 373t and 300+ Feet in length.

 

Here is the Ares Cluster in Trans-Mars Injection Configuration.

Ukx3R2h.jpg

 

During Transit, both SIIC tanks are jettisoned. The fairings around the docking module are removed and the CSM docks at one of the radial docking ports. It stays in this configuration until capture.

sft3kmg.png

 

Once in orbit, the crewed block separates from the propulsion stage, rotates 180 degrees and redocks with the propulsion section. This allows the MEM shroud to be jettisoned and the MEM can undock. 

XX5dl63.jpg

 

The image above is from Flight 1. Due to a mistake with the fairing jettison force, the airlock and docking segment were destroyed. I EVA'ed some crew over and flew my first run with the MEM. I undocked, set up a deorbit burn and landed on Kerbin. The MEM is based on the North American-Rockwell design from the 1960s. It's an absolute monster to fly. It's unevenly weighted, asymmetrical and all around a blend of astoundingly fun and pain in the ass. Despite some construction errors and an early loss of RCS fuel, the MEM heatshield and parachute tests were astoundingly successful.

YpCAsbi.jpg

 

On Flight 2, I landed a MEM on the moon. This was fairly difficult. The MEM is designed to land on a Martian or Duna style planet. It's main way of losing descent speed is through drogue shoots and Ballutes. Just prior to touchdown it has an Aerospike that can be fired up. On a Mun landing, I was entirely dependent on the de-orbit booster and descent Aerospike. I only just managed to put down before running out of fuel. Flight 2 is still in progress with an extended surface stay with the MEM. This one is pictured with the outer fairing removed and some added solar panels. You can sort of see the surface lab behind the RCS strut.

6qVyf13.png

 

Ares in orbit. The MEM ascent stage will rendezvous with the Ares, offload her crew before being jettisoned. A major difference between my Ares and the one of the novel is that I've been using a 5 man CSM. I don't quite buy that the orbital segment should be left totally unmanned. It also is capable of extended science missions, so I figure, why waste the man power.

YiqWfq1.png

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Doing a project related to Eyes Turned Skyward. It basically takes the status quo of ETS in the mid-2000s (equivalent to when Constellation was being developed IOTL) and envisions a series of launchers leveraging the industrial base that would have existed at the time. The goals of the launchers were to be scalable with the ability to put serious payloads into TLI to support continued Moon base operations into the 2010s and 2020s. So basically, an SLS-type project in the ETS universe, but scalable and with different LEGO pieces. My rules were that I could only use derivatives of the components outlined in the AH Wiki article on ETS spacecraft and launch vehicles. That meant engines, tank diameters, etc. The result is the Helios rocket family.

 

Helios 601

 

9jnQxZC.png

 

Height: 86.9 meters

Launch mass: 1,385.3 t
S-IVD Upper Stage (6.6m, 2x J-2D)
Helios I First Stage (2x F-1B)
58.3 t to 390 x 390 km

 

 

Helios 621

 

7Axr2a4.png

 

Height: 86.9 meters

Launch mass: 2,110.1 t

S-IVD Upper Stage (6.6m, 2x J-2D)
Helios I First Stage (2x F-1B)
2x SRMU
76.2 t to 390 x 390 km

 

 

Helios 6X1L

 

IfKZ5lv.png

 

Height: 96.8 meters

Launch mass: 2,055.1 t

S-IVD Upper Stage (6.6m, 2x J-2D)
Helios II First Stage (2x F-1B)
10x Castor 60
77.5 t to 390 x 390 km

 

 

Helios 621L

 

ScbtEgw.png

 

Height: 96.8 meters

Launch mass: 2,423.7 t

S-IVD Upper Stage (6.6m, 2x J-2D)
Helios II First Stage (2x F-1B)
2x SRMU
86.4 t to 390 x 390 km

 

 

Helios 661

 

eNuDEOH.png

 

Height: 86.9 meters

Launch mass: 3,547.7 t

S-IVD Upper Stage (6.6m, 2x J-2D)
Helios I First Stage (2x F-1B)
6x SRMU
102.9 t to 390 x 390 km

 

 

Helios 661L

 

cg0lI9J.png

 

Height: 96.8 meters

Launch mass: 3,867.6 t

S-IVD Upper Stage (6.6m, 2x J-2D)
Helios II First Stage (2x F-1B)
6x SRMU
115.7 t to 390 x 390 km

 

 

Helios 863L

 

3roiOFW.png

 

Height: 96.6 meters

Launch mass: 3,919.9 t

Helios Advanced Upper Stage II (8.4m, 4x J-2D)
Helios II First Stage (2x F-1B)
6x SRMU
131.2 t to 390 x 390 km

 

Helios 862L

 

8KfySa2.png

 

Height: 102.9 meters
Launch mass: 4,041.9 t
Helios Advanced Upper Stage (8.75m, 4x J-2D)
Helios II First Stage (2x F-1B)
6x SRMU
155.7 t to 390x390km

 

 

Helios 1062

 

nVkcBnb.png

 

Height: 92.4 meters

Launch mass: 3,769.8 t

Helios Advanced Upper Stage (10m, 4x J-2D)
Helios I First Stage (2x F-1B)
6x SRMU
144.9 t to 390 x 390 km

 

 

Helios 1062L

 

jNSs9Fb.png

 

Height: 102.3 meters

Launch mass: 4,093.1 t

Helios Advanced Upper Stage (10m, 4x J-2D)
Helios II First Stage (2x F-1B)
6x SRMU
161.6 t to 390 x 390 km

 

 

The Helios rocket family uses six basic subassemblies to loft payloads from 50 - 160 tonnes to a station-height parking orbit:
 - The 6.625 meter wide Helios I first stage, twice the length of a Saturn Multibody Common Core, with 2x improved F-1B engines

 - The lightweight S-IVD upper stage with 2x improved J-2D engines

 - The lengthened Helios II first stage based on the same construction of the Helios I, with 2x improved F-1B engines

 - The 10 meter wide Helios Advanced Upper Stage (HAUS) with 4x J-2D engines

 - 8.4 meter wide Helios Advanced Upper Stage II (HAUS II) with 4x J-2D engines

 - Titan-derived SRMU advanced strap-on solid rocket boosters

 

Some additional commentary:

 

The designation system follows the fairing-booster-upper stage model of the Atlas series. So the 621, for example, uses a 6(point 625) meter fairing, two SRMUs, and an S-IVD upper stage. There was not enough of a gap in performance between the 621 and 661 to justify any variants with four strap on boosters. The "X" in the 6X1L refers to the 10 (Roman numeral X) Castor 60 SRMs. The three upper stages have the following codes: S-IVD (1), HAUS (2), and HAUS II (3).

 

The core tanks are based aesthetically on the Atlas V. Like that rocket, they are bare aluminum with an anti-corrosion conversion finish, which appears bronze. I chose this look because it's both a good design and aesthetically striking. I wanted the rockets to be ultimately Saturn-derived, but not look like they came out of the Apollo program. The S-IVD upper stage tank is an improved and lightened S-IVC with revised avionics. It uses unpainted orange spray-on foam insulation (SOFI) like the Space Shuttle external tank. The S-IVB upper stage from which the S-IVD would ultimately be derived is a very lightweight common bulkhead design, so it's not visually correct for these models to have the SLS-like intertank section (the lighter ridged bit in the middle), but I wanted to represent the visually distinctive S-IVB forward skirt, and that's as close as SSTU's models would let me get. I may change the models later. Both varieties of the HAUS upper stage (a clean-sheet design) are balloon-tank designs, so they get no prominent interstage feature. It should be noted that the engines have no direct analogues IOTL, although the F-1B is similar to the real F-1B in that it's production optimized and uprated. It is represented by SSTU's (IRL) F-1B. The J-2D is represented by SSTU's J-2X but is unrelated except for shared heritage (it, like SSTU's J-2X ironically, is higher performance than the historical J-2X would have been). It is a reduced cost J-2 with improved thrust and specific impulse. Both are pretty unsurprising improvements over their predecessors.

 

Only seven of the nine rockets are "canon" right now. Both the 6X1L and 863L are ones I'm not sure about. The 6X1L was designed to fill a perceived gap between the 601 and 621 (because the 601L configuration literally can't get off the pad when fully loaded), but not only did it end up lifting almost exactly the same as the 621, that gap didn't really end up being significant enough to fill. Therefore, while the 6X1L is interesting, it is unlikely to make it into the canon (such as there is). The 863L is a configuration I'm very happy with, but canonically it's in a bit of a weird spot. The upper stage tank is 8.4 meters in diameter, which is a diameter that exists in our timeline, but so far as I know not in ETS (it is the same diameter as a Shuttle external tank, and the Shuttle never happened). However, it is a balloon tank and I suppose they can make those in whatever size they want? I actually don't know much about balloon tank construction processes, but it doesn't seem like they would be as reliant on existing machinery sizes as rigid tanks. If anyone knows, please chime in. Anyway, I personally think the 863L is a more practical rocket in many ways than the 1062 or 1062L (that much disparity between the upper stage diameter seems like it could be problematic and reminds me a little too much of Delta III), but I'm not as sure the tank diameter fits in the timeline. Also, super-heavy payloads or injections of significant mass to other planets could require the 1062 series. I don't really think I want to keep both the 10- and 8-series, but I'm undecided on which to keep. EDIT: I've decided to ditch both members of the 1000 series and the 6X1L, and to change the 863L's upper stage to 8.75 meters and lengthen it slightly. Since the original HAUS upper stage is no more, the HAUS II is now renamed "HAUS" and uses the designation code "2", meaning the 863L has now become the 862L. Confusing! But it's all done with the idea that none of this is visible on the back end.

 

All of the Helios series are fully expendable. These rockets are intended to fly in the 2010s and 2020s, and even with some private ETS companies developing reusability during that time, I do not think NASA-requested rockets would be reusable by that point (although, ironically, ETS canon contradicts me). Another issue is the location of the long and short first stage tanks in the timeline. Are the L-variants concurrent with the rest, or did the L-variants come about later, as an even further improvement? Should the regular variants exist at all (well the 601 clearly should)? Fairings are another matter. Right now each upper stage has its own unique fairing. These stages are big enough that this may be all that is ever needed, especially since these rockets are designed primarily to send cargo to the Moon. I may add greater variety in the fairings as payloads become more clear, which would result in other designations, like for example an 821 or a 1063.
 

To cap everything off, here's a family photo:

y6M6Eyx.jpg

 

Updated family photo:

BTl2djs.jpg

 

601, 621, 621L, 661, 661L, and 862L

 

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I found out that I could make the upper stages of the Helios series look much more accurate to how they would be IRL, which means now I have to redo all my screenshots. Oh well. They all look super sweet now, though.

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Sobol's SLS Parts Pack makes for what is easily the best-looking KSP SLS I know of:

RxHnIql.png

 

It's also the best-performing, as it meshes well with PEG and can make it to orbit in RSS no problem (with the RO config).

In this shot, I am using SSTU's RS-25s because they are more configurable and I can switch to the proper RS-25D configuration (Sobol only provides RS-25Cs, which haven't been used since the early 2000s). Also, I found Sobol's engines had a bizarre graphical error where flame effects would start about one engine length above where they're supposed to. Oh well, the SSTU RS-25s look and work great, and are at exactly the same scale.

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The Helios series has been finalized:

1QMkzet.jpg

 

Left to right: Helios 601, Helios 621, Helios 621L, Helios 661, Helios 661L, Helios 862L.

 

Differences are that the texture wrap for the S-IVD upper stage has been changed to reflect the stage's actual architecture, while the HAUS upper stage has also been changed to reflect its highly insulated MLI wrap.

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