Year 22: Finally Leaving for Jool
Well, let's fuel up the Jool ship.
We need a refueler:
maybe take the big booster, stick
a robot core, capsule, and claw on it, and send it off! How hard
can it be?
Mildia the engineer is going up on this launch but she's not allowed
to touch the controls.
Umm hmmm. Forgot solar panels/batteries. Forgot some sort of reaction
wheels. This won't go well. We actually managed to get close but then
the ship just spun out of control. Mildia is going to make a break for
it via EVA then back to the drawing board.
OK Bill, hopefully this refueler is a bit more sane.
And we did dock, eventually. I wish it were possible to target an
arbitrary part of the ship (maybe it is and I just don't know how?)
We then decided we needed one more scientist, and recruited Lizlyn Kerman.
She went up on the last refuel mission, but I didn't seem to get a picture
of that launch. So here we are with a 10-person crew:
Mitrid, Mildia, Pabella, Elul, Lizlyn, Detrix, Sigbert, Lonie, Valentina
About ready to launch and... wait, what's that Houston? One more refueler?
But we're about 95% on fuel, I thought we were just going to run with it.
A special surprise on board? Great!
The surprise was tourists. Four space tourists. I'm not sure this was
that great of an idea Houston.
Well they are docked, I guess we can't send them back, especially as
their ship has no parachutes or heatshield.
Finally, ready for launch. Any other "surprises" Houston? No?
Then let's launch!
What's that? Launch window is 120 days away?
(Fast forward...) OK then, let's launch!
First stage went OK, but second stage was a huge pain with off-axis
thrust and the final stage looks to be impossible. Valentina I hate
to break it to you but I think it's your shuttle.
Maybe you can move the ship so it's inline with the center of thrust?
No? You're just leaving? Who's going to pilot the ship?
You think Detrix will be fine?
Well um I guess it's not like we can stop you. I wish you wouldn't smirk
knowingly like that. I'm sure our crew of 13 will make it there
and back safely without you (ominous thunder).
Well, bye Valentina, let's fire up the nukes:
Looking good, though it's taking *forever*. This ship is much heavier
than any I've tried to send to Jool before.
Here's Lizlyn's view from out of the coupola on the very bottom of the ship.
I thought it'd look cooler when all engines were firing.
It turns out our engine/fuel expert *is* bad at math. Severe fuel
shortage here. In the end we managed to get into a decent Jool orbit
but we had to siphon off most of the landers' fuel. They have
ore processing equipment; it's going to be tricky seeing if we can
somehow land at least one and salvage the rest of our mission.
There was a momentary scare where we were rapidly losing power, but it turns
out that this far from Kerbol it's just not possible to run a science lab
with the solar power we brought. Not that it matters as we're not going
to be doing much science unless we figure out some way to land safely.
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