Campaign: Kerbinai Program

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Beyond Kerbin Campaigns Probes and Rovers

Introduction

Over Kerbin, Kerbal-made stars could be seen gleaming from their orbits upon a treeless, empty world. It didn't matter, because no one on Kerbin had ever seen a tree, so they weren't missed. GeoSat proved the point that there was absolutely no vegetation at all on the planet, except the microscopic green stuff (scientist are currently trying to track down the elusive compound) that made the surface that shade of green. It was also discovered, contrary to popular belief, that there was actually no buildings (except for the insular airfield and the Kerbiet's KSC 2) beyond the Kerbican Kontinent. As the KSC was one of the only buildings in all of Kerbica, the scientists found no lack of volunteers.

The Kerbican president (President? I've never seen his face. Is he real? I sometimes feel I'm part of a game) announced that he wanted to see a Kerbal on the Mun by the end of the decade. The Kerbal Space Program set its sights on an eventual Mun landing and return, although most scientists doubted the success of such. To get there, much needed to be learned. Volunteers were called up, but most Kerbals were not that eager to volunteer, even with the free snacks. Jebediah Kerman, a daredevil from Kernicopia, was the first and only volunteer...for a while. Though after showing off his new spacesuit with a jetpack included, his very intrigued brothers Bill and Bob would soon join him, and it became apparent to KSP scientists that Jebediah's whole family had what it takes to get into space; a penchant for a good bribe and a lack of education.

This campaign presents a mission manifest to have you flex your space muscle with more advanced orbital maneuvers involving manned space-craft, and to get you ready for the Mun before the week is out. Missions are based on the Soviet Voskhod 2 (1965) and American Project Gemini (1964-66). An imaginary mission to practice docking and crew transfer is also included.

(Video tutorials on docking, rendezvous, etc, etc: Orbital Mechanics 101)

Specifications

  • Length: 5-8 hours
  • Difficulty: 6/10 (Proficient)
  • Skills needed:
  1. Advanced navball familiarity
  2. Intermediate navigation via maneuver node
  3. Advanced orbiting
  4. Intermediate understanding of launch windows
  5. Intermediate understanding of rendezvous
  6. Basic docking
  7. EVA navigation
  • For version: Every version (tested on 0.20.2)

Recommended Mods

  • Bluedog Design Bureau - We previously discussed this mod in Space Race, and it bears reminding that this mod includes Gemini parts, including the whole spacecraft and the Titan II rocket. It even includes things that were proposed for Gemini but never left the drawing board, such as Big Gemini, Advanced Gemini, and Blue Gemini, plus the Manned Orbiting Laboratory. As stated in the Space Race campaign, the previous suggestion to use FASA has been made practically impossible by the fact that the mod has not been updated since 1.0.5, and the LEM landing legs suffer from an issue with the stock KSP game that cropped up in 1.1.
  • Historical Rockets, Probes, and Mods series - Also discussed in Space Race, this series of mods has parts you'll find useful:
    • Salyut Stations-Soyuz Ferries: This mod includes the Voskhod spacecraft.
    • Soviet Rockets: This mod, as previously mentioned, includes the R-7 rocket.

Missions

Thinking Outside the Capsule

A Kerbeit scientist known for being a daredevil suggests having a Kerbal exit the capsule into space. The program directors decide to perform the first EVA before the Kerbicans do.

  • Launch Koskhod 2, piloted by Alexey Kerbinov. Perform an EVA in orbit, and return the Kerbal unharmed
  1. First stage should use a clustered system, at least 4 engines total. (Vostok 1 had 5 boosters, each with 4 engines for thrust and 2 for vectoring)
  2. Reach Low Kerbin Orbit (LKO)
  3. Have your Kerbal exit the command pod, let go and get back inside (no jet flight)
  4. Land in water

The Kerbicans develop an ambitious manned space program to catch up with the Kerbits and prepare for a mission to Mun.

  • Design the Kerbini Spacecraft, or the Titan II Kerbini Launch Vehicle.
  1. Spacecraft must have a 2-stage launch vehicle and a 2-stage "Re-entry Vehicle" (RV).
  2. Stages should all be in-line.
  3. Stage I should contain enough propulsion to carry the craft outside the atmosphere.
  4. Stage II should be able to achieve a circular orbit.
  5. The RV should contain: 1 parachute, small manned capsule, heat shield with decoupler, RCS propulsion, battery and a small service bay for extra snacks.

Before carrying out Kerbini 4, it may be best to do the first three Kerbini missions before you tackle this mission, just to make sure any two-man spacecraft you built is working. If using the FASA mod, do it for the sake of completion, but remember these parameters for both construction methods:

  • Kerbini 1, 2, 3 (Optional)
  1. Kerbini 1 is an unmanned orbital test that was never meant for recovery. Test the structural integrity of the ship by launching into low orbit. Let the RV burn up during re-entry (no heatshield)
  2. Kerbini 2 is an unmanned suborbital flight to test the heat shield.
  3. Kerbini 3 is the first manned flight of the program; use this mission to practice changing inclination and eccentricity.
  • Kerbini 4: Let Kerbican astronaut Ed Kerman attempt the first jet-assisted EVA...and successfully return to the spacecraft.
  1. Must use the Titan II KLV (with only slight modifications) for all Kerbini missions
  2. Reach LKO
  3. Have your Kerbal leave your comfy spacecraft and float around the spacecraft
  4. Complete one circuit around the craft
  5. EVA must take place entirely on the day side of Kerbin, else you must let your Kerbal drift in space until daylight comes back and he can "see" the ship and try to make it back.
(If you lose your Kerbal because you have run out of jetpack fuel... well... um... your first orbital intercept will be to rescue him using a remotely controlled intercept vehicle)

Rendezvous Rehearsal

The Kerbicans decide it'll be easier to land on the Mun if they didn't have to carry as much fuel. This means they'd have to uncouple with a module in orbit, descend, land, ascend, and re-dock with the orbiting module. The Kerbicans realize that last step will take some practice.

  • [Optional] Replace ComSat I with the new-and-improved ComSat IV by performing a rendezvous
  1. New satellite must contain: more solar power, more energy storage, RCS system and a probe body
  2. Launch a new ComSat to replace ComSat I.
  3. Time your launch (or adjust orbit) to reach space within 500m of ComSat I.
  4. Reduce relative velocity. Your orbit should be Kerbostationary above KSC.
  5. Propel ComSat I into graveyard orbit, circular orbit at least 20km above Kerbostationary Orbit (scaled from real-life graveyard orbits).
  6. Designate ComSat I as Debris (so it no longer shows up on your map, or you can choose to end its mission to save cpu resources)
(This mission is a good one to practice your first orbital intercept, assuming your old satellite is where you want your new one to be)
  • Kerbini 6 & 7: Intercept and Rendezvous a manned ship to within 100m of another manned ship
  1. Both ships must carry a single Kerbal, for a total of 2 Kerbals at the rendezvous.
  2. Crafts must contain: no docking port, SAS module (new technology, since previous missions may have been "a wee bit wobbly")
  3. Launch both crafts into LKO and rendezvous
  4. Take a screenshot from inside the cockpit of one ship through the window looking at the other ship, when both ships are less than 100m apart.
(Building orbital intercept vehicles will require a more powerful launch vehicle. Consider your trial by error development as Kerbini 5 (if you seek completion, do Kerbini 5 anyway as an endurance test; for that mission, just leave a Kerbini spacecraft in orbit for about eight days and launch some satellites; your crew will have spent "eight days in a garbage can" by the time they land). Experiment first before committing Kerbonaughts to an official Kerbini mission)
(KSC scientists don't think it's possible on the first try, so that's why both ships don't have docking ports. Prove them wrong with a screenshot. Of course, the actual Gemini 6 and 7A never docked, either.)
  • Launch an unmanned Kerbina Target Vehicle with docking point into orbit.
  1. Satellite must contain: 1 small fuel tank, 1 docking port, battery power, 1 antenna
  2. Launch satellite into orbit
  • Kerbini 8: Launch a manned vehicle carrying Neil Kerbstrong to refuel from the target vehicle.
  1. Intercept and rendezvous with the waiting unmanned vehicle
  2. Dock with the unmanned vehicle
  3. Transfer fuel from the Kerbina Target Vehicle to your ship, make sure there is enough for the manned vehicle to deorbit and the unmanned vehicle to reach a graveyard orbit (10-20km away from other satellites, come up with a standard for future LKO satellites)
    • If you're feeling daring, don't transfer fuel, but rather, send the entire ship into an uncontrolled spin and simulate the actual Gemini VIII abort.
  1. After you're done, you are welcome to deorbit the Target Vehicle, send it to graveyard orbit, or use it for the Kylab mission. Then, rinse and repeat Kerbini 8 by doing Kerbinis 9-12, and continue honing your rendevouz and docking skills with these missions.

2 Kerbals, 2 Ships, and a Party

  • Transfer a Kerbal between docked ships for the first party in space.
  1. Launch 2 manned ships with docking ports
  2. One ship should have space for 2 or more Kerbals with one empty seat, the other one with a Mk1 Command Pod
  3. Rendezvous in LKO
  4. Dock the ships together
  5. Transfer a Kerbal through the docking port and have a party for one orbit
  6. Transfer a Kerbal back via EVA
  7. Transfer fuel so both ships have equal amounts for the return
  8. Undock and return both ships safely.
(Tip: Switch between EVAs by using the bracket keys)
(Don't forget to bring four bottles of Fizzy Kerbin Ocean Water with straw caps to celebrate!)
  • NOTE: If you seek to do a campaign that follows real-life, now would be a good time to deviate from history a bit. This mission profile was never flown during Project Gemini, so in your campaign, this mission can be considered Kerbinis 13 and 14. With the FASA mod, you could delve further into an alternate history and use Gemini spacecraft for moon missions!

After the Kerman family reunion which took place in orbit during the program, Gene ordered the Kerbonaught Corps. to take a well deserved vacation while the space program ramped up its final preparations for a Mun shot. While on vacation, Jebediah took the initiative in his home town of Kernicopia to fund a new start up company: Jebediah Kerman's Junkyard and Spaceship Parts Co. - cobbled together from a number of junkyard parts he had laying around from his daredevil days. Being an insider, her figured he'd be able to score a number of kontracts with the Kerbal Space Program after the Kerbollo missions.

Meanwhile, Gene Kerbman and his intrepid team of space explorers at the Kerbal Space Center furiously scrambled to start the Kerbollo Program and save face by getting the first Kerbal to orbit the far side of the Mun in what many were calling the last lap of the Mun Race.