Flying Again: DMap1

So I decided to get back into KSP.  Well I've been trying to get back into KSP for a while, but I just have not been having the time to sit in front of the computer to actually play.  I have managed to find some time here and there again, so we're flying again.

This time I've downloaded 0.23, and ended up adding a few mods:
  • SCANsat -- because having something to do when you reach your objective adds a point to the fun of getting there
  • EnhancedNavBall -- I've been thinking that my terrible flying skills aside, landing would be easier with some of the information on this Enhanced Navball.  Landing attempts are quite some ways away as of yet, but I've added this mod now to help.
  • Aviation-Lights -- because if I am going to spend hours looking at these things I want them to be pretty.
  • Docking Port Alignmnet -- I have not decided if I want to do docking, but this seems a useful add-on.
  • Kerbal Alarm Clock
  • Engineer-Redux -- all the info from MechJeb (and more!) without the autopilot and autoguide functions.  If I'm going to crash these things, I am going to crash these things.
For our first flight, I present DMap1.  It has the following objectives:
  • Flight-test an early design of the interplanetary lifter.  This probe is only orbiting Kerbin, but we might as well flight-test the lifter to see what kind of delta-v we have once we make our orbit.  
  • Enter a polar orbit for mapping purposes.
  • Gain familiarity with the mapping mod by performing a low-res scan of Kerbin.
Flying Again
The flight-test of the interplanetary lifter (which doesn't have a snappy code-name, sorry) didn't go particularly well -- we had to finish the circularization from initial launch on the transfer stage, which wasn't intended. And that didn't go well because we had a staging accident after the circularization burn started, which pushed our apoapsis out to 7Mm before we could roll the orbiter off the staged, firing transfer stage.

So lessons learned:
  • Insufficient lift in the IPL launch stage(s); and
  • I still can't fly worth a damn.
Fortunately the orbiter is a fuel tank with a tiny motor strapped to the back, so there's plenty of delta-v available to fix things.  After some flying around, we got into a suitable orbit:

DMap1 on orbit
...and after less than three days of mission time, we had a low-res scan of 99% of the planet's surface.  That's clearly not terrible.

Mission 1: Success
The eventual goal is to send probes to nearby planets -- Eve, Duna, and Dres -- and possibly their moons and also planets and moons further out.  From the maps generated, we'll pick some landing targets and send some ground landers and maybe some rovers.  And maybe I'll get into flying actual Kerbils, although for some reason I don't like killing the little guys so I tend to do everything robotically.

DMap2 "Macroscope" (because missions should have snappy code names), launched from a "Javelin" IPL, is in progress as I write this.