Challenge "This ain't the simulator anymore boy"

Kaito

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Today, I decided to try something I've never done before: Launch to the moon with a DGIV, rendezvous with a satellite, boost it's orbit, then land back at Cape Canaveral on earth without ever touching the moon. Turned out to be one HELL of an experience.

First things first: Everything up to Lunar Orbit Insertion when fine. As with all my lunar insertions, my PeA cuts DIRECTLY through the moon, so I needed to burn fuel fixing that. Then I burned fuel attempting to align the planes, but that wasn't working...then when I had 4% fuel left, I decided to use that fuel tank I brought along with me. And for the life of me, i couldn't align my plane with my targets. I spent 70% fuel messing around with it until it clicked: I never changed my reference from Earth to Moon. *headdesk* So, rendezvous went fine, capture and boosting went fine (brought the orbit from 2.6M circular to 13M circular), deployed it, all good and fine. But then, using IMFD to plan my escape route...I discovered I had a problem...at 13M up, the moons gravity wasn't enough to pull me back. I had unknowingly escaped from the moon. And, at some random point, my hover engines just suddenly turned on, and I couldn't turn them off. I closed the hover doors, but it kept giving me warnings. Finally, Woo482 suggested that i turn off the hover valve, and that fixed the problem temporarily. Eventually, they fixed themselves.

After about 3 minutes of going nuts, i realized that the Tractor Beam known as Earth was pulling me in safely. I burned several times to get into a 1Mx300km orbit, then thought: I have less then a quarter of my fuel left, I need to land not in an ocean...what Can i do...AEROBRAKE! So, after a few orbits, i had NOT aerobroke (is that a word?) enough to make a difference...so I just did a normal re-entry. I tried doing inverted for a bit, until i exploded. Thanks for quicksaves, I didn't explode again at that run, and was able to get going alright....60 degrees AoA....boom. I was trying to brake to fast. So, i set myself to Overshoot by 700km. Using S turns and other things, I was able to turn around..550km out from base, 22km up, 400m/s speed.

Juggling altitude, speed, and fuel conservation, it was a SLOW approach. I had transferred all my RCS to my main tanks, which gave me just under 10% main fuel. Burn, stop, burn, stop, burn, stop, i kept using that cycle. I saved every last ounce of fuel for my final approach to Cape Canaveral...i was using a -30 degree glideslope, and I was STILL losing speed (which is bs in my opinion). I crashed just on the tip of Florida, 19m/s vert speed. The last speed I saw on my hud was 114m/s. I just ran out of speed...

15 seconds after I crashed did I realize i had the eject button....So figuring training and such, i'm gonna say "A fuel leak caused the massive fuel loss, and he just had to eject to save his life.."...A successful failure? I finished my mission, and my guy "lived"...*sigh*

Most tense moment of my Orbiter Life.
 

n122vu

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I was wondering how that turned out for you. At least you made it to land before you "ejected."

Hail :probe:
 
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