Captain Kerbal

Tag: Science game

Manned munar mission


Using a Kerballed version of my White Rock 2 rocket, pioneered in this post, I’ve managed to place Hallas Kerman on the Mun.


Note the streamlined, if heavier, body...

Hallas underway!

Note the streamlined rocket design… which did get an unmanned test flight first.

"High above the world..."

Hallas looks rightly nervous…

EVAs have gone badly before…

The Mun is getting bigger

The Mun is getting bigger

He's a smart one!

Looking very nervous…

Well... there's good reason to be nervous, really, given my prior space walks!

No reason to be nervous… look, the vessel is right next to you!

Mine, too!

Hallas’s view


Luckily, Hallas remembered to pack a ladder

One (large, gulp!) leap for Kerbal kind…

Due to an economy drive, only two lights were present…

He looks much happier now, doesn't he?

He looks much happier now, doesn’t he?

Well, why not?

A flag!

My, what a big rock...

My, what a big rock…

It was a much longer walk than I intended… although I discovered that Kerbals could fly on the Mun, if I carefully used their EVA suits…


Two orbits later...

Two orbits later…

The ejection sequence is not perfect yet, but I’m not quite sure what hits what, and when…

Another re-entry shot

Another re-entry shot

I did a pair of aerobraking orbits before landing, just to make sure that re-entry wasn’t too exciting.


Safe and sound!

Back at home!


Optimised White Rock 1 design breaks records… of successful Munar missions

Well, I’ve spent some time resting of late, due to health problems. Which means that I’ve played a lot of KSP, as well as 0ad, which might feature in a future blog post.

I’ve been working to achieve the eventual goal of a Kerballed (manned) munar mission. I was disappointed by my progress – both of my more recent efforts using my White Rock 1 rocket failed, due to the rocket tipping over on landing, even though the surface was mostly even. As a response to that, I tweaked my rocket, resulting in a slightly heavier, slightly more powerful, design:

On a pillar of smoke...

White Rock 2, shortly after takeoff

Basically, it is the same as the old design, but swaps the older, vertical lander, for a design which is more compact and, importantly, broader:

Short and squat..

White Rock 2 lander, orbiting the Mun

This means that it is less prone to tipping over!


Since then, I’ve completed several Munar missions!


A Munar landing!

There was also some spectacular re-entry visuals, since I’m using slightly more modern hardware that can cope… which might feature in a later blog post.

Thin legs...

A slightly modified White Rock 2 lander, on another patch of the Mun

Pretty flames...

A near miss

Munar mission – try, try, and try again

< Jeb is sitting in a chair at mission control, flying a probe >

“Hey Bob, have a look at this!”

< Bob wanders over to see what Jeb is up to. He’s holding a mug of coffee >

“What’s up Jeb?”

“I’m doing a short hop on the Mun to the poles – look at those canyons!”

< They both stare at the view provided by the probe’s cameras >



How high are we??

Big hills….

< Bob takes a moment to look at the control panel >

“What’s the small flashing light?”

“What, the low altitude warning light?”

“That one”

< The probe control screen goes black for a second, then reveals a large cloud of smoke >



I don’t have a lot to say about the mission; basically I stuffed up the last stage of the descent and landed a bit hard, blowing up the engine and one of the landing legs. I had landed successfully, but I touched down in the wrong area – where I had already been. Given that hopping around would leave me with no fuel left to come home on, I was not expecting to be able to do much – but I did expect to be able to explore at least two biomes and transmit from each…

Oh well – more practice required before the fabled manned munar mission…

Ramblin roving, flight edition

Rover wheels have other uses than just roving, like being misused as plane landing gear 😉

Attempt three...

Failed plane design

Plane design is not easy, but luckily I have it licked with my latest and greatest, albeit still unmanned:

Luckily this plane is overpowered ;)

Mountains ahoy

This also let me achieve my long standing goal with these experimental plane designs: visit the abandoned airfield, albeit with no Kerbal.

My landing technique needs improvement...

Note the blown wheel 😦

Another Mk1 Command Pod!

Junk at the abandoned airfield

Munar mission: kaboom!

My munar missions so far have been highly – spotty, to say the least. So far, out of 4 missions, only 1 has been succesful.

  1. Blew up trying to land on the Mun.
  2. Landed succesfully – and returned home!
  3. Ran out of electric charge because the spaceship blocked the solar panels… now heading towards a solar orbit, due to a gravity assit.
  4. Touched down on the Mun hard – the engine blew up.
Of course, I can still get science :)

No engine 😦

Luckily I could still get some science, but not as much as I would have liked 😦

Rambling roving

Munar mission – White Rock 1

I managed to complete a Mun mission, on the second try, about a week ago.

I flew my White Rock 1 unmanned rocket to the Mun.

Ignition in 5... 4...

My Mun capable rocket, ready to launch

The first step in any mission is getting the rocket into orbit. With White Rock 1, this is fairly simple; although the rocket uses asparagus staging, only 1 stage is fully used up during the Kerbin ascent.

The world is very blue...

My Mun capable rocket in orbit with 2 stages left.

After orbiting, I lined up a manuever node, trying to optimise for the most efficient Mun capture. My ‘average’ Mun captures so far have been around 800m/s – which I am quite happy with as I budgeted 860m/s, according to my trusty dV chart. However, that does not include the Mun orbit maneuver, which tends to cost around 300m/s to stabilise an orbit around the Mun.

Now, how to land...

White Rock 1 in Munar orbit

Landing was slightly more complex. On my last mission, I had stuffed up the landing by not burning soon enough – cue large explosions:

Pretty explosion

Early Mun mission gone wrong…

This time, I intended to do it ‘properly’. I got out my pen and paper, and plugged in the (approximated) numbers – 300m/s start speed, 50kn engine, Munar gravity of around 1.6m/s^2, and did my best to land. I burnt too early still – worrying, since I needed that fuel to get home. Next time, I will be more precise… hopefully not too precise 😉

Note the LV-909...

My first Mun landing!

Success! The Kerbals back home could rejoice – oh, wait a minute, it was only a probe. Boring….

After collecting my hard earned science, I headed back home. Mun take off is a breeze, and so is Kerbin intercept. There was a tense moment – I was not sure I had enough fuel to get home. I could have done a quick calculation, but it was too late anyway….

Luckily I had enough for a direct Kerbin entry.

Home sweet home...

Landing in the desert, just after sunset.

With my hard earned science, I then went out and researched some rover wheels – but that is a subject for another post.