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Saturday, March 1, 2014

I Fell Through Jool

The KSP community is hugely into Imgur for posting mission results and accomplishments. They then link the Imgur album to reddit or the KSP forums. I've an Imgur account, but I also have a Wordpress site. As I've no desire to do double work, I post here instead of there. Hopefully the community will indulge me. Perhaps not and I'll end up doing double work anyway. But format is probably more important than the service used so, like Jester, I'll keep to the preferred KSP community format on this blog for future KSP posts. That said, here's how I fell through Jool, but got some great science nonetheless. (Click the first image to view in gallery mode. These are large images. It may take some time for them to load.)

[gallery link="file" columns="4" ids="1791,1792,1793,1794,1795,1796,1797,1798,1799,1800,1801,1802,1803,1804,1805,1806,1807,1808,1809,1810,1811,1812,1813,1814,1815,1816,1817,1818"]

It took me approximately four to five hours to complete this mission. There were several interruptions along the way where I had to pause the game. There were some things that did not go as planned. But all in all, it was a highly successful mission! Thanks for having a look.


  1. Pretty nifty! I haven't been to Jool yet though it's probably gonna be my next stop. I don't recognize all of the pieces of your spacecraft. Care to expand on the design a bit?

  2. It's a three stage design with the last stage comprising the lander section and the atmospheric probe. The first stage get's it all into a 650 km orbit of Kerbin using about 5600 delta-v total total. It is a modified "asparagus" system with the eight outer boosters with T30 engines falling away at about 5000 meters and and the two outside Rockomax boosters with "Skipper" engines falling away at about 35000 meters. That leaves the central Rockomax stack with a full load of propellant powering into a final orbit using a "Mainsail" engine.

    The second stage is the transfer stage. It uses a nuclear engine for maximum efficiency attached to a single Rockmax x200-32 fuel tank. It was not only able to get the upper stage to Jool, but also achieved the parking orbit as well as the transfer to Bop. Nuclear for the win!

    The upper stage separated near apoapsis once aerocapture was achieved. I used a standard docking port. In fact, all components are stock. The only mod I have installed is MechJeb. Each section was controlled by an Octo sandwiched between other components with struts to secure the sandwich. The electrical generation was nuclear.

    The atmospheric probe had no MechJeb assist, but its maneuvers were very easy with only one aerobrake pass and then the final plunge. It was RCS only, which was more than sufficient as the probe was very light with only a couple thermometers and a couple barometers attached to two . It had 4 nuclear generators though because I didn't know how fast the probe would descend and how many times I could transmit data. Erroring on the side of too much electrical generation was better than not having enough and missing out on some science in my book. :-) All the science (several thermometers and barometers, the Goo and Materials Bay are too heavy) was attached to an Octo sandwiched between two Modular Girder Adapters (MGA) connected by their square ends. This allowed me to attach a Drogue Chute to the top and the Battery and RCS to the bottom. Structs ran from chute to RCS tank for extra strength. The nuclear generators and the transmitter were attached to the fires of the MGAs.

    The lander portion of the final stage had a single Rockomax x200-16 fuel tank and a "Poodle" engine. There were six heavy LT-2 Landing Strut, six RCS nozzles and the full science package (everything except Gravioli detector) on top of a Rockomax Brand Adapter 02. It too had nuclear electrical generation but only one. This section was coming home. It had barely enough delta-v for me to pick a landing site. I intended to set down on land as I had four chutes. However, I experienced your issue with break away parts (they broke at the connection of tank to adapter 02) so had to cut a chute to land the science package gently on it's side at 4.4 m/s.

    Was there anything specific you were curious about that I didn't cover?


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