Year 16: Munbase Disasters

RIP Daphty Kerman

Finally we have some funds, we have some science, let's learn how to use the mining equipment. We also have an elaborate Munbase expansion contract, maybe we can combine all of that. What could go wrong?

Not really sure what equipment we need to smelt some ore, so threw together an 85ton monstrosity of a base and tried to put together a booster with the new extra-large tanks/rockets we have.

Daphty Kerman, it's up to you to deliver

Oh no! Disaster! And a permanent disaster too! The explosion was quite spectacular, I was too surprised to get a good picture. The SRBs more or less made it to orbit by themselves.

I have to admit I've depended on reverting-to-VAB in situations like this, but the attached rover survived the crash so no revert for us! Poor Daphty! She's our first perma-death!

In memorium of Daphty Kerman. Recruited in Y13 to be a space-plane tester. She bravely rescued/recruited Herely Kerman from Munar orbit before piloting the long mission to Eve to rescue the Gilly Three. She will be missed!

After a lot of thought and much time spent with the rocket equation we came up with this much-updated booster for the return-to-flight launch. We'll have Valentina pilot this one.

Eight mammoth engines were probably overkill, but they got the job done. We use a Rhino for circularizing the orbit.

And for the trip to the Mun:

Getting a little new science here. We also have a gravioli detector but I couldn't remember where we stuck it. There should be a "locate my science instrument" button or something.

And now began a series of horrible landing attempts, most of them ending in death or distruction of the base. Part of the problem was the contract called for a lot of liquid fuel, and I accidentally removed all oxidizer from the way-underpowered landing stage (a poodle engine, why do I bother, it's never enough anyway). So the only way this was going to happen was to transfer a *tiny* bit of oxidizer to the poodle and then do a massive suicide burn and then trying to separate and switch to the poodle right above the surface. All while trying to land vaguely close to the previous base.

Eventually we got this, which was declared good enough. We did lose a hitchiker container and docking port but the rest is more or less still there:

Now to attempt drilling. Despite being flush with the ground the drills wouldn't do anything. "No contact with ground". What? On a lark I raised the landing gear. Sure enough, the drill now floating like 6 feet off the ground happily drilled away while the one at ground level couldn't. Very odd.

Hey, what about that troublesome rover? Should we try it out? Separate... and... a flat tire. And the nearest engineer who can fix it is on Kerbin. Great.

At least we are slowly mining some ore, and the converters seem capable of refining it to fuel. Fun times.

We're low on funds again though. The next step is probably to try to move the base the 1.6km to Tranquility base and try to dock it. Not looking forward to that. We're either going to have to fill the oxidizer tanks and try to fly over, or else extend the landing gear and roll over. I'm not convinced either is going to work. Next time!

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