Day 96: Lots Of Progress

This whole strategy of updating when a mission completes isn't going to work, since missions all tend to blend together now.  Also my sessions are strung out and not in any consistent order.  So I think I'd better just do a snapshot update of where we are now.

Since the last update:

  • I sent the rover out to collect the floating transfer stage that was lurking a couple dozen km away from the station.  It was dropped there by one of the Skippies -- maybe the one that brought the rover, I've lost track -- and has lurked there ever since.  It had a non-trivial amount of fuel in it, and had a docking ring on it, so sending the rover to collect it made good sense.  After much tugging around I finally docked it with the rest of the station.
  • I've launched a second Silverado mostly as a fuel truck to add more fuel to the station's gas tank, then returned that Silverado home.  That return missed its landing target and ended up in the water.  Everyone survived.
  • Jeb (of course) commandeered Skippy II and he and Ronwell did a Munar orbital intercept, to see if it was possible.  It was.  Jeb tried to show boat on his return, trying for an immediate aerobrake capture from an orbit that was practically Munar orbit.  He guessed high -- a 48 km atmospheric periapsis wasn't sufficient to capture Skippy II, so he's going around again.  At the peak he dropped his periapsis to 30km, so this time through he should land.
  • Grand Theft Orbiter: Jeb brings Skippy II into Munar orbit
  • A Silverado with a bigger fuel tank, nicknamed a Boomer, was launched directly into Munar orbit from KSC.  Up there the crew is performing orbital change operations to learn how various operations require delta-v.
  • Far From Home: Kerbal from Munar orbit
  • Boomer II has been launched with a prototype (unnamed at this point) lander.  Once orbit was achieved (timing for a direct Munar insertion was wrong), the delta-v left was considered too low to risk going to the Mun.   After separating from the lander so that Siding could put it through some basic maneuver experiments, Boomer II collected the lander back up and intercepted the space station.  Both the lander and Boomer II individually docked with the station to refuel.  So at this point the plan for Boomer II is to take the lander into Munar orbit, where a decision about attempting a landing will be made.
  • Future launches with Boomers + landers will either be separate (ie a Boomer, then a Silverado + the lander) or I might just upgrade the launcher so that I can get a decent amount of fuel into orbit.
  • Also on tap will be at least another Boomer with fuel for the tank, if not a replacement tank (I'd sort of like an orange tank on orbit -- and I would like to re-arrange things so the rover is available again) plus fueling missions to fill it all up again.  That will almost certainly require development of a larger launcher.
And that's how we get here:
Almost A Full House
Texaco-1 is hosting the transfer stage with the rover, Boomer II on the back, Silverado I across from Boomer II, and the un-named lander in between.

It might be a little aggressive to go right to a manned (kerballed?) landing on the Mun without doing robotic landers first, but we'll see how we do with delta-v once we get into a suitable orbit.