The SVMW Class Spaceship, Finally Realized

First, an aside: a snowy weekend with the middle kid interested in rockets led to me throwing together a quick Mun mission for them. This is only worth noting because despite having a broken mouse and three fighting kids jostling my elbow I managed to land on the Mun without toppling over for the first time ever.

After the Jool mission it was time to play around with ship designs. I have a long-standing doodle of a ship I've been drawing in many forms (most famously in my Tom Bombem games) for decades now:

I thought I'd try building it. I assumed it wouldn't handle well, but I was wrong. It does handle poorly as a spaceplane (mostly due to my lack of skill trying to line up center of lift with center of mass) but it flies just fine as a rocket:

On its own it can make suborbital flights just fine:

So of course I *had* to take it to the Mun:

Well that could have gone better:

Needed more struts:

I initially intended to have a stage separate and remain in orbit for refuel purposes on the way home. I totally estimated everything wrong. It took all of the fuel in the refuel stage to get to Munar orbit, but once there my craft had plenty of fuel to land and return.

That's no moon... wait, hmmm, on second thought yes that's definitely a moon.

Coming in for a landing...

OK, actually landing properly on the landing gear took many many tries.

It did happen eventually:

Getting back into the cockpit was hard with those false walls in place.

Heading back! This took multiple tries; the first try failed because somehow the "landed" flag got triggered at liftoff so the game thought I was simultaneously driving on the ground as well as being 10,000m in orbit. Needless to say I could neither quicksave nor make maneuever nodes.

Returning home:

Seeing this ship in action is like an amazing dream:

Deploying the chutes. Accidentally deployed the emergency cockpit chute (added after a disastrous test firing where the cockpit separated from the craft during an explosion and had no chute to slow it down).

I think I'll count this as a successful landing.

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