Second installment of play of Kerbal Space Program.
At the fourth postflight report, Werner announced. “Another successful flight. Val, would you give your report?
Valentine walked up to the podium. “I only reached 1051 meters
altitude which is short of Jeb’s, as we expected. But *I* got to FLY
the beast, not just take an elevator ride. I nudged the yaw to a little
east, and landed on the causeway between the VAB and the launch pad. And didn’t
get so flustered that I forgot my crew report or my EVA. It’s a magnificent
view from up there. “
Wernher stood back up. “This is what it’s about, kerbs. Each flight advances a little on the success of the previous one. This gave us enough Science. to qualify for a research grants in Stability. Now, we have an announcement from Mortimer Kerman, our Finance director. “
Mortimer announced “Although we are in a good cash position, We have an
extensive program of research and flight testing which may not be very
lucrative. Accordingly, we have initiated a PR program which will trade on our
good publicity to generate a little more cash. I’m sure Wernher will agree;
no disasters, please. Now, Gene, for our
Gene took his place. “Fifth mission. This one’s to Jeb, again. You’re
getting ears, Jeb.”
This drew some laughter.
“There are several directions we could have gone but we elected to continue as we began. This vehicle, which we’ve called Jumping flea, is our first stock vehicle and we will be flying it over and over, with slight mods, trying for further height and horiztonal range, to get statistics on our performance We’re giving you two mystery goo containment modules, and 10% more fuel. ISP for this fuel is 140 s. This should give you 1.5 t dry weight and 1.8 loaded. 32.48 kn thrust. TWR 1.81, a 13 second burn., for a delta V of 249 m/s We want to take a goo reading on the ground and one in flight after you have deployed your parachute. Straight up and down again if you please.
For the fifth post-mission report, Werner announced “Another success. First we’ll
hear from Jeb.
Jeb took his turn. “Everything was as it should have been, except that
someone gave me a full load of maneuvering fuel. I took a goo reading just before
launch. In spite of the extra weight, the 13 second burn got me 890 meters at flameout
and 1504 at apokerb, my highest point. At that point, the rocket started to tip
over, so I deployed the parachute, although I suppose I might have tried attitude
control. I took a goo reading on the way
down and landed on the causeway. I did a crew report and an EVA, but I don’t think that added much to science. Wernher again took the stand. “We got good
reports on mystery goo; we’ll be doing more. Next mission, Gene”?
Gene stood up. “This will be our sixth mission. The contracts we’re being
offered will be calling more for airplanes than spacecraft, so I’ll be arm wrestling
with Wernher about what research grants to apply for. Although I would like to
do a straight up repeat of that test without the added fuel, we need to move
faster than that. I’m adding a communications
antenna to the vehicle in place of the fuel. This one will go to Val. I want
you to bear north toward the runway, if you can. Take your goo readings in
flight and on landing. Same thrust and SRB
fuel load.” The TWR and delta V are just
a little bit higher.
“Copy on the directions and goo readings” she replied. Gene nodded. “Let’s fly, kerbs”.
At the sixth post-mission report. Werner did not look happy. After the usual
introductory remarks, e asked, “Val?”
“I didn’t get readings at flameout or apokerb, alhough I did go above 1200 meters. I got the goo reading in flight and tried to radio it in, but ran out of battery power. I suppose that will be he subject of a research grant at a some point. I landed just north of the runway. I got the goo report Landed at Kerbin’s shores, the crew report same, and an EVA, the same. “
Werner stood up. “That’s still a success. That gave us enough science to
apply for the stability research grants. I still
have that arm wrestle to do with Gene about whether to go for aerodynamics or
Gene took the podium. “Seventh mission. We’ve been putting off that test of
the Swivel engine long enough, and we need the cash so we can expand mission
control and get more contracts in the queue. Jeb, this one’s for you. We’re
going to try to activate the engine with a bare pod and no fuel, and see whether that will do. Let’s do
a test, kerbs.”
Werner began the seventh mission report. “The test was a success. We got
paid enough that Gene could upgrade mission control. Over to you, Gene.“
Gene reported. “With the proceeds from this latest launch, I have
been able to hire more staff and expand the mission control center. This
means that I can accept more contract offers and not miss any limited time
offers, so that we can earn as we go. “I have three contracts in the queue, but
nothing we can do right now.
“For our eight mission, Val, it’s your turn.
We’re going to install a thermometer as well as the Commutron 16 antenna,
and see if you can radio that in. We’re
going to give you more fuel to see if you can break 2 km, and we’d like you to
bear westward toward the ocean. “ copy. Theromometer, try to radio it in, and
bear westward toward the ocean.
Werner began, as usual. “This is our eighth
mission report. Let’s hear from Val. “
“I goofed, chief. I did a goo reading on the launch pad, so that
should be about all thee science we can get there. I steered west too early and
almost lost control, and went further out over the ocean than I wanted. With the bad angle, I missed the 2km height target
by a measly two meters. We really need
the SAS assist. I forgot the temperature reading in flight, and didn’t keep the
goo trial. I splashed down in the ocean, got a temperature reading, and radioed
it in. I got a crew report and an EVA, but in the excitement forgot the goo
again. Sorry, chief, everyone.“
Werner stood up. “We’re going to make mistakes, kerbs. We aren’t going to
fire you, Val, but do better next time. Gene,
over to you.”
Gene took his turn.“Ninth mission. Those first few flights spoiled us for
science readings. From here on out, we’re going to have to scramble. We have a
barometer to test but first, another piece of hardware. Jeb. It’s your turn. We’re going to add a TD-12
stack decoupler between the command module and the Flea booster. Same instrument
profiles. Go straight up and see if you can get to 2k. Eject the booster, get your
temp and goo readings, and bear south if you can. You’ll be busy up there. “
“Let’s fly, kerbs”
At the ninth mission report Wernher looked seriously displeased. “Jeb, give us the news”
“Something went wrong. The stack decoupler wasn’t staged properly and activated
at launch. I nearly lost control. I did get
the goo readings and temperature readings in flight, and landed next to the
SPH, the Space plane hangar, and got crew report, EVA, goo, and temperature reports
from there. “
Wernher scowled. “Not your fault, Jeb. This happened at the VAB, which is my
department. We got lucky. We fix it and keep flying. We have enough science
that we could go for general rocketry research grants, but Gene won the arm wrestle
and we’re going for aviation first.”
Gene took his turn. “Tenth mission. Val, you’re up. Try the profile we assigned to Jeb last time. We’re
going to go ahead and got that barometer, and to compensate, giving you 10%
At the report, Wernher began “Congratulations, kerbs. We have completed ten missions.
Val, your report.”
She stood up. “I got the temperature readings and a pressure reading in
flight, and landed next on the launch pad close to the crawlerway. Also the
height record at 2.95 km. Other than that, nothing exceptional.
Gene took his turn. “Eleventh mission! We’re so close to those aviation
grants! I’m going to cut fuel back to 40%, Jeb, without the stack separator, and
have you bear south. Don’t forget the pressure reading at launch, and see if
you can radio it in. We also need goo readings at the shore when you land, ”
At the eleventh post mission report, Wernher stood up. “We have some news.
But first, Jeb, your flight report.
“That Jumping Flea is a clumsy beast to handle. I couldn’t get it to bear south. I did get your pre-launch pressure reading,
and squeezed out a goo trial in flight. I landed just south of the launch pad,
got another goo reading, and a temperature. Perfect for a swim, if we were any closer to
the water. Nothing exceptional”.
Gene stood up. “Still a success. We got just enough science from that one to
qualify for Aviation grants. We’re going to use the next several missions for
aviation purposes. Yes, this is a space
program, but we have to get through the atmosphere to get to space. We are
negotiating several contracts lined up to research high altitude and long distance
locations, and our control for suborbital launches isn’t that good, as Jeb just
informed us. Our research into basic rocketry will let us start testing liquid
fueled engines, but I’ve managed to arm-wrestle Wernher into working on airplanes
For our next mission, Jab, you’re going to be testing something I call the Slugbeast.
It’s a ground vehicle. Some version of this is going to be our go-to vehicle
for gathering science reports from around the Launch facility. Later we will be
modifying this to get an airplane. It has a Mark1 cockpit, and mark 1 fuel fuselage,
from C-7 aerospace. It’s powered by an engine pod which has an air scoop, a mark 0 fuel fuselage, and a J-20 Juno jet
engine, also all from C-7 aerospace. There are two pair of LY-B1 fixed landing gear
from LightYear corporation, so it’s a our wheeler. In general, I don’t like testing vehicles more
than one part at a time, but this was the best I could get. The main fuel
fuselage will be empty and the small one at 10%, and thrust linited to 10%. I
want you to try to get a crew report from the runway and do an EVA to see if
you can get back in. See how fast it goes, and steers, and check the brakes.
Easy does it. Drive safe.