OFSS IV Mission write-up thread

Interceptor

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Very interesting you say this, as I had exactly this experience. Grappling the OFSS modules (e.g. Airlock) on the URMS on the D3D9 client - it was as if it was rolling around on the grapple point (e.g. like a person running on a floating log!). Plus you don't get the red/green highlight on the target to tell you that you are in range.

I switched over to the default client to do the grapples and manipulations, but to be honest, I'm much more comfortable moving the XR5 to orient a piece, than to try to 'fly' it in on the URMS.




Can you explain more how you use the EVA astronauts to help with this? Interested if you are using their jetpacks alone to move the big modules, or of there's something else you are doing (e.g. using them as extra viewpoints).



Now, landing, this I can help you with!! PM me and we'll go through it in detail!
Try,and delete the URMS attached line in the scenario file,and see if that helps,this line can cause some strange behavior.
 

Artlav

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February 2, 2024.
Evening before launch.



Banaba island, a speck lost in the pacific ocean, had a tropical rainforest climate.
It sounds like words until you get there.
But once you're there the words resolve into their meaning - it rains.
All the damn time in this part of the year.

Kara was sitting in the commander's seat of XR2, as fuel was pumped into it.
The noise of the rain hammering the hangar's roof passed clearly through the open hatch.
It feels like you can almost resolve individual raindrops, but as soon as you think you did, it turns back into a roar.

Once you get back from a few months on the Moon any weather feels good, just because there is weather.
But even then, a change of scenery would be very much preferred right now.
In a few hours she will rise above the clouds, into the...
THUMP
...or not?



Kara leaned over to the window.
You couldn't quite see the fuel truck from here, but there clearly was some agitation over there.
A glance at the gauges revealed that the scram fuel level was dropping.

"Sigh", she thought while flipping close the fuel hatch switch, "what now?"
 

ADSWNJ

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Damn ... better call SpaceX to see if they have any fuel pump spare parts.
 

Artlav

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February 3rd, 2024.
T-00:15:33

In the dark of the night an XR2 sat on the runway.
Despite several problems during fuelling, the Ravenstar has been finally rolled out onto the tarmac.



Kara looked out of the window. The rain have stopped for the night, but the sky was still opaque.
Besides her Lee, the commander, was talking on the radio to the technician who was disconnecting the external cooling hose.
Rodney, the payload specialist, was sleeping in one of the back seats. It was good to be a passenger.
In 15 minutes the three of them will launch towards the new station.



T-00:00:10

-Ten seconds.
-All systems nominal.
-Let's start rolling.



-Wheels up... Gears up and locked.
-All right, heading 62, pitching up.



Ravenstar flew smoothly, like an airplane.
A slight jolt.

-Mach one.

But it was fast as a rocket, in the early stage of ascent.

-Mach three.
-Open the scram doors.
-Flow 2 kilos, we are stable over the threshold.

The pressure pushing Kara back increased somewhat as Lee throttled the SCRAMs up, then she jolted forwards as the thrust from the rockets cut off.
In the back, Rodney snorted from the shock, but apparently kept on sleeping.
Slight cracking sounds could be heard over the quiet murmur of the SCRAM engines - the rocket nozzles were cooling down and contracting.



Already the stars shone brightly at this height, around the ship that slowly climbed towards orbit.
As fast as Ravenstar was in initial ascent, this phase was so unlike her first experience on a real rocket.
The Dragon was a small, claustrophobic capsule with hardly any view, shaking and roaring all the way into orbit.
Thrilling acceleration, the adrenaline, the novelty of finally going into space...
This, in comparison, was boring.



-Mach ten. 22 hundred degrees, 6 kilos of flow.

Kara was idly contemplating how fast the technology evolved since L-equation was formulated, and every hobbyist was suddenly able to design simulated real things on their computers.
First there were government-funded improvements to classical rockets, like Themis-A that lifted their station's core, or M-II they will meet in a few days.
Then commercial SSTOs like XR5 took off, made by the private efforts.
And now there was XR2.

She remembered discussions on Orbiter space sim forums, ten years ago, about feasibility of a very similar fictional vessel called the Deltaglider.
The consensus was that it was as real as magic and completely ridiculous, for a long list of good reasons.
Yet, here she was flying in one.

-Mach twenty two. Closing scram doors.



The rockets were roaring again, pressing her firmly into the seat, and then a little sideways as they rolled into the plane of the station.

-MECO.

A curious feeling of a jump that went on instead of ending, then the inner fabric in the spacesuit unclinging from her back.
It took a moment for the sensory overload to clear out.

-Welcome to space. Let's open it up.

She reached for the radiator switch, and had to correct the movement as the ship started rolling.
This part was fun the last time - the ship rotates around you, then with you, and the earth becomes the sky, and the sky becomes the side.
Many people found such rotations disorienting and even nauseating, yet she was mesmerised by it.
Unfortunately they were still on the night side, so all there was is a sense of rotation.

While the motors on the payload bay doors were murmuring in the distance, Kara looked into the window trying to blink out the spots left from all the gauges and indicators.
Myriad of stars, hard and bright, a sight you can not get anywhere on Earth.
Silently burning, vast and unafraid and infinitely distant, shining in the cold and darkness...



Then Lee flipped the cockpit lights switch, and the magic was gone.
 

Artlav

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Sunrise.
Sunset.



Sunrise.



An orbit later, their trajectory was defined enough by ground tracking stations to start maneuvering.



Syncing orbits was a dance of speed and altitude.

Forwards takes you up, up takes you backwards, backwards takes you down, down takes you forwards.
Back in physics class it was presented flat out as a paradox, with a touch of explaination.
You might even think you understood it, but really you just memorised that you need to slow down in order to catch up to something.

Kara remembered her first time running Orbiter, when she tried to land the shuttle by pointing it down and burning.
PhDs were no help there, you just had to try that to get it.



A few orbits later, one of the stars was moving.
It grew larger, resolving into a lopsided H.

In the old days, it would have been hours of slow drift.
These days, they approached quickly.



Not like there are any solar panels to hurt.
Lee was piloting the approach, as Kara watched the instruments and the looming station.
Rodney was awake now, and staring straight and blankly.
He didn't look too healthy.

In the old days, the final approach was performed slowly and carefully.
These days, there was no reasons to do otherwise.
Kara noticed she was leaning forward as the docking ring closed to their nosecone.



A click, a scratching sound, the seat pulls gently backwards, and then back again, as shock absorbers consume the vessel's energy.
She flipped the retraction switch.
Whirring sounds ahead didn't quite mask the retching sounds from behind.

 
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PhantomCruiser

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I was seriously thinking of having my main character upchuck once he manages to get to space. You beat me to it. :thumbup:
 

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T+07:21:00

-Finally. It should be opening right now.

Sitting in the commander's seat, Kara looked at the camera screen. The airdock module looked like it was being squashed and torn apart, yet the pieces moved together.
Soon it was completely flat.



Next to her, Rodney was still doing something at the station control pad.
He was well enough to bring the station online by the time they verified the berthing integrity and linked up the systems.



Space sickness was a vicious beast.
Even if you flew before without problems, there were no guarantees.
And for the last hour Kara was dwelling on the implications.
She had untethered EVA training and she rehearsed this flight's mission, being the backup.
But she had no actual experience.

-Undocking complete, backing off.

Lee was below in the airlock, checking the space suit and turbopack, while Kara gently cancelled the spring's momentum, bringing the Ravenstar to a stop a few meters away from the dock.
The ship was not designed for on-orbit assembly, the only airlock being shared with the only docking port.
She pressed a few keys on the autopilot panel, then relaxed and closed her eyes, getting into the calm working mood.
Job first, worry after.
It's time to suit up.



The station was straight ahead, across a gap few meters long.
Somewhere below was the airdock, then the Earth.
Even though there was no below or above.



Kara was standing on a precipice, her back to edge.
Except it wasn't a precipice, and there was nowhere to fall.
Strangely, all there was is a sensation of openness around her.

She tried looking for the stars, but the glare from everywhere was too much to see anything.
So, she kept her eyes on the hull, and started climbing towards the payload bay.



The CMG module was already floating free from the wall of the bay. Or was it the floor?
She grabbed the CMG, leveraged herself against the other wall, and slowly pushed it to a stop.
Things were weightless, but they sure were still massive.



The airdock was below and ahead her.
First, check the turbopack.
Second, orient yourself towards the destination.
Third, get free of the bay.

She pushed hard against the fuel tank, ceased residual rotation with a few puffs of RCS, then nulled the unnecessary parts of relative velocity with less gentle puffs from the turbopack.
The helmet's instrumentation showed steadily closing distance and no stray velocities.
Good.

Anticipating a long drift, Kara relaxed a little and let her attention wander, looking at the surroundings.
This proved to be a mistake.



FALLING!
The overwhelming sensation slammed into her like a tidal wave.
The pure, raw velocity, the altitude, the chasm ahead, the head-down fall.
She gripped the module, heart racing, as she was hurtled towards the Earth.

She knew, on the rational level, that she was not really falling anywhere, that there was nothing to hit no matter how fast the speed appeared.
But you can't look at the blue sky and make yourself see green.

Kara forced her eyes open, looking back at the Earth, remembering the training.
Look at something solid.
The station, the ship, all was falling along with her.

But they were not.
The trick was to focus your perception on the raw fact that the Earth was not getting closer. Blink yourself back up, in your imagination.
She was falling, blink, but she was at the same spot.
Falling, blink, but at the same spot.
Falling, blink, same spot.
Falling, blink, same spot.

She eased her grip, tried to relax, to calm down.
Look at the instruments.
Orient the module to match the docking clamps.
Falling, blink, same spot.



The airdock approached, as her terror was slowly dissipating.
Right, back to work.

You beat me to it. :thumbup:
I had to, to make the EVA part work. :)
 

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Whatever we gotta do eh? To paraphrase Herbert; the story must flow. :cheers:
 

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The Tranzit space tug was safely inside the M-II Heavy's fairing.


A certain synthesized voice counted down to lift-off: "ju, kyu, hachi, nana, roku, go, yon, san, ni, ichi, zero."

Lift-off occurred at 09:14 (Hatsunia Standard Time, UTC+9).


After clearing the tower, the M-II performed its roll maneuver.
[this was done manually, using LaunchMFD's launch compass (press MOD to cycle to it) which displayed the "Head-Brg" - the target bearing was about 156 degrees]


The M-II then began its gravity turn.


Liquid rocket booster separation


Payload fairing jettison


Second stage engine ignition


Second stage engine cut-off. The apoapsis was around 330-340 km.


Upon reaching apoapsis, the engine burned to circularize the orbit.


The Tranzit was jettisoned, and its solar panels were deployed.


Later, the M-II second stage performed its de-orbit burn above the mouth of the Amazon River.


Burning up over the Atlantic


Tranzit emerges from the darkness


Because it was in a lower orbit than the station, the Tranzit was slowly catching up.


Over 10 hours later, it burned to bring its trajectory on a course to meet with the station in about an hour.


Decelerating (relative to the station), in order to match velocities with it




Translating to position itself at the final docking waypoint [i.e. between the last two docking boxes in the Docking HUD]




50 meters from the station [rendezvous and docking were performed manually]


Almost there...


Docking occured on the same day that it launched, at 20:54 HST.


 
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IronRain

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MNSA is proud to announch that the 2nd launch of a TDRS satellite, dedicated for the OFSS station, is a complete succes


Atlas V ready for launch


Lift-off!


Bye-bye earth




Staging!


Continuing up-hill


MECO


Centaur ignition


MECO-2


Separation!
 
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