Rouady Central

The Rouady Family Website

Early Orbit

Now that I have the basics for orbit, I am going to try and get a satellite up there! The Explorer A craft appears to do the job (if the various engines hold).  I may add a bit of Nitrogen for safety, but I got a great sim altitude of well over the 36000km I needed.  It also creams the high sounding contract as well.  I am going for it! Explorer A (11696 dV) Feb 15, 1952 14:12, a beautiful clear day! Going for first orbital satellite, medium and high sounding and getting a bunch of science! I forgot to add the Nitrogen.  I hope it is not a problem. RD-103 shut down a few seconds early, almost could not hot start the next stage! A failure of one of the separation engine spinners created a wonky spin which , along with the lower apogee (due to the RD-103 failure) created a tense situation but we ended up with an apogee of 31,800 km (not enough for high space science) and a perigee of just over 150km!  The minmum needed for the satellite contract! So, success!!!  Mostly, but good enough! Getting science. <Explorer A> Explorer B (11476 dV) April 7, 1952, a few clouds but clear Different probe, aiming for a high space orbit (36mm) and more engine testing.  Should be paid for by the medium and high sounding contracts.  No other contracts really in play. RD-103 shut down early again!  Basically, I am pushing it beyond its 1:52 life and it is not making it.  I need better engines (longer) but maybe it can upgrade? Only got to 22mm apogee so I did not get near high space.  I am not sure how to hit Moon with my current engines, I may have to wait. <Explorer B> Explorer C log was lost. July 18-19(?), 1952 It used an upgraded RD-103M engine and all the engines performed nominally. It included a lighter Vanguard 1 payload. (12952 dV) Got high space over Earth and Sun telemetry. <Explorer C> There are 42 days left to study Orbital Rocketry.  I also have quite a while (206 days) until I have a tracking station that would really allow me to do a lunar mission. It would be a bit of trial ans error otherwise since I can't set maneuver nodes and such. I think I will warp to the new rocketry level because I can do sounding missions to may for some tests because the truly interesting missions are the lunar challenges that come at that point. Jumping to an Explorer E which takes advantage of some new hardware to send the Explorer payload off into high orbit and possible solar orbit.  This one mission may take me to the next avionics level where I can start creating lunar craft as the tracking will also be getting closer. Some simple sounding contracts should cover the cost of this testing. So, it looks like I may be out of luck/time.  I really can't launch the craft until we upgrade the pad which is 220 days away.  Fact is, the lesser craft don't have any real value to me at this point so I think I just have to jump forward!  It will be early 1953 before I can effectively continue the program.  Ah well, that seems to be the bottom line. I should have started my pad upgrade earlier.  

Advanced Sounding Rockets

Having achieved some basic science with the Aerobee engine and reaching low space, I want to shift to the Sonner 2 plan. This rocket uses the A-4 engine to achieve higher apogee and also carry some larger science payloads to build up our research program. We have been luck with rockets so far and this one is actually pretty solid, so I am hopeful we can get some new stuff here. Sonner 2's simulation took it to an apogee of more than 430km.  This is not high space yet (that is crazy high in RSS, over 37,000 km) but will get me some good new science from the RoverDude mod and I will follow that up with a recovery mission for bio samples. Sonner Delta (uses Sonner 2 craft) Getting some contract work in here as well. March 27, 1951.  Partly cloudy. Need to break 280 km (should be no problem if the engine does not fail). Will get some good science up top.  Recover later. 3509 dV.  Gets me up there! 437.5km achieved in apogee. Electric charge ran out.  Was unable to transmit all of the available science.  NO recovery is possible.  Hopefully, enough science top add another one to the R&D effort. Contract fulfilled. <Sonner 2 Success> At this point there are a few options.  I could run a couple atmosphere flights with the additional science experiments to build up science a bit (maybe a Sonner 1B) which is the most likely.  They won't be real expensive but they will provide some value.  I will use these as recovery tests as well (more science). I could also look at fulfilling some other sounding contracts but I am not sure they will be worth it.  Both the engines I am using are as reliable as they need to because they won't be used long term so unless these pay more than they lose.  Plus, moving to recover low space may require a better craft than I currently have. I am researching orbital rocketry (less than 6 mos to complete) so it may make sense just to wait for that to complete so I can test flight those newer engines and build data while fulfilling contracts and adding science. Pondering... So the orbital rockets have 114 days to go.  I may give a try for a Sonner 1B craft. The Sonner 1-B has only 1356 of dV, so it may not make high altitude.  Either way, we will get some science from it.  I could also use the Sonner 2 as a base craft and try and recover the science as well (easier when I have retro rockets to slow descent or heat shields). May 1, 1951 14:16 (mid morning) Sonner Echo Simple science recovery with a parachute attempt (hopefully making the upper atmo level). Sonner 1-B craft (same as 1-A with a heavier payload, less dV) Made it to 40km (not enough for high science) and did recover the payload. To get higher I need to use the Sonner 2.  I will remove some of its size and parts to make it a bit leaner and have the payload be able to separate.  I am pretty sure it can handle high altitude recovery but low space may be too extreme a heat issue.  Worth a try I think. Sonner 2-A is smaller with a detachable payload.  The dV is down to 3017 on a smaller rocket overall.  Going for low space.  I will kill the engine once that is achieved to try and survive reentry.  Let's see what happens. Sonner Foxtrot May 19, 1951.  12:13 early morning. Shooting for about 150km apogee. Stopped at 457dV, initial apogee at 187 (should go lower). Only drops to about 184km.  Maybe too high? I was able to pull it off!  Yes! I got more than 20 science! I may use this for my bio recovery as well since that worked. Important note was that it did not work that great.  Had to open the chute at the last second to save it.  No room for error, it came down hot. <Low Space Science> Sonner Golf (using Sonner 2-A again) High altitude non-bio science mission. June 10, 1951, 15:16 late morning. Went to 90km.  Good mission. 9.8 science earned. I think I want to try a bio recovery mission with this craft. The Sonner 2-A was refitted with bio science and a new parachute.  It actually got a bit lighter so I made the tank a bit smaller.  The dV is 3011. Sonner Hotel A mission to recover bio science from low/high altitude and low space. July 10, 1951, 10:41, morning Perfect mission. Went to about 160 km.  The large payload slowed itself down just fine. More than 16 science recovered (I have 63 now!) I am ready to start testing orbital engines which should be ready in a few days! <Near Bio Science> Working on a Sonner 3 craft based upon the AJ10-37 engine.  The sims have not been going well.  I am trying wider fins and a straightup launch (it has been turning near the end of its fuel so more weight at the top may help as well). I want to avoid more weight because it is only 3746 dV now, and it may not get apogees I want. I added weight but it was not the key.  It still started fluctuating wildly when the fuel got low.  Very odd.  I may try a different setup (new Sonner)  as I am not sure the long term value of this engine testing yet. I shifted to the Sonner 4 based upon the Vanguard X-405 booster engine (XLR50).  The simulation did much better and can accommodate my sounding rocket contracts.  The  contracts will not pay as well though because the engine is more expensive (650 vs 150) but they will work and let me get some high contracts as well as build an engine I can use for my orbital satellite. After some sim tests, I have adjusted Sonner 4 to have 4592 dV (with 4 cameras to try and get a shot). The tank is 10m in length. Sonner India based on Sonner 4 craft (4592 dV) August 16, 1951, 18:07 (a bit cloudy/foggy) Going for a medium sounding contract that pays for test flight data on the Vanguard engine.  Hopefully some nice shots as well. Need to reach 150 km apogee.  Should be easy if the engine does not fail. Our apogee is 839km+.  Good for contract and a few more monetary rewards for accomplishments. Good mission. <Sonner India> Sonner Juliet Slightly enhanced Sonner 4 craft (4713 dV) Sept, 1951 More testing of Vanguard paid for by a medium (250km) contract. 1m 21s thrust planned. 903km apogee should get us another accomplishment level! Sonner 4A simulated (game crashed). Before the crash, I reached more than 1100 km with the new two-stage rocket that includes a triple cluster of Baby Sergeants that also need to be tested.  So, when I restart, I can do another medium sounding contract to increase their tests and then I should be getting close to have a satellite I can put into orbit! I created a new Sonner 5 craft to try and reach higher levels.  When all goes well (no engine failures) I can get above 2 mm (2000 km) with this new craft.  [add details on craft here] Sonner Kilo (using Sonner 5x, 7391 dV) Oct 26, 1951 12:00 Made it to about 1.7mm and got a medium contract to help pay for the engine testing. Spin problem which was adjusted for the next flight. Range destroyed. Sonner Lima (using Sonner 5x) Dec 8, 1951, 22:24 evening launch. 2.3mm apogee!  No failures! This satisfied both a medium and high contract and built our engines up so that we can try orbital with a satellite (as that research is almost complete). <Sonner Lima>

RSS RP-0 Reset

I have learned from a bunch of tutorials so I am resetting and doing a new run of the RP-0 missions. I am going to start with a nice $100m start point ($100,000 in the game) so I can start with a couple A-4 tests (which are captured V-2 rockets).  I have a much better understanding of Test Flight and how these things work so hopefully it will be interesting. A-4 Alpha Test Flight Uses the base A-4 setup with all of its defined parts.  Just want to get a rocket off the ground and see how high it goes! Jan 4, 1951 Just the basic A-4 Rocket with antenna and telemetry experiment. Early morning (dawn) 12:22 UTC is the time, launching in a few minutes and launching our space program! 2659dV with a 1m 5s, burn time on the A-4 (rated for 1m 10s). Standing by... Forgot the pumps, they are now on.  Forgot the staging, that is now fixed... 166.867 km reached.  Just into low space.  Not enough power to get telemetry there though. Range destroyed. Got 3.4 science and some bucks! Still had some dV left (2 seconds), because the hTC ran out.  Can't do much about that. A-4 Bravo Test Flight Same test except I want to get a few pictures from on high.  Our first pics from space. Also, maybe able to get telemetry above 140 km. Jan 17, 1951 13:37 UTC on a rather foggy morning. 2652dV (less due to cameras). Ready for liftoff. 200km apogee!!  Engine lasted the whole way! Great pics and got the science as well. Range destroyed. <A-4 Tests Complete> I am ready to move toward my sounding rockets and send these babies up high for some science! I am calling this the Sonner series (French for sound). They will use Aerobee engines which will require some development tests.  I will add more to get them higher as the engine develops and lead us towards our orbital missions. Aerobee has a burn time of 50s.  Reliability is half of the possible because there is no flight data.  The first mission is to get it off the ground and get some engine reliability. The fuel is at 50s, but it will burn on the pad for a few seconds first (with pumps on), so it should burn out before the fuel ends.  It will get me the max though. The dV is at 2389 so it may not break atmosphere (140km).  Still need to add fins. Now dV is at 2349.  I put a slight twist in the fins so it will be fin-stabilized with a bit of rotation. The science is on action group 5 and the range destroy on 0 (zero). Let's give this a fly! The craft name is Sonner 1. Sonner Alpha Jan 18, 1951 23:00 UTC.  An late afternoon launch of our first sounding rocket. Some science on board to do at the low level. Got the low flying science.  Craft reached 67.7 km apogee.  The fins heated up a bit.  They did not blow.  (not able to handle supersonic)  The engine cut out at 50 sec. Range destroyed. This craft can reach high flying (above 50km) so I can get more science than what I have.  Over 10 I can get the better rockets for orbital flight and then the avionics as well. Sonner Bravo Jan 30, 13:15 UTC.  Beautiful clear day! Going for >50km basic science. No engine burnout this time.  Made the fins a bit thinner so that may have helped as well since I got to an apogee of 90+km! Range destroyed. <Sonner Early Tests> I may do some sounding rockets (Sonner 2) using the A-4 engine and see what happens.  Maybe add some science? I went ahead and built Sonner 1-A.  This is a Sonner 1 craft with the Tiny Tim booster to give it a little extra kick.  It got to 150km+ in its simulation so I want to try and see if I can get some low space science here. Sonner Charlie (uses a Sonner 1-A craft) Feb 12, 1951.  Partial clouds. Goal is a low space science run with a boosted Sonner 1 rocket. Reached an apogee of 155.6 km. Aerobee rocket went all the way to it rated burn (50 sec).  No failures.  Science transmitted. Range destroyed. <Low Space>

Arkas Adventure

First I need to do some Duna craft adjustments since they occur before the Arkas adjustments. I have also received word that an engine failure has occurred on the Eeloo Rover craft.  Oh well, that may not work out. <Duna Adjustments> Now need to handle the Arkas adjustments which will be followed by their arrival (one small Eeloo adjustment might also occur before that). <Arkas Adjustments> A quick Eeloo Explorer adjustment and then on to Arkas! <Eeloo Adjustment> The Arkas Explorer is in a decent 500km orbit.  The scanner is in a polar 750k orbit doing its thing.  The Lander is also in a 500k orbit waiting for coordinates.  The rovers are starting to arrive now. <Arkas Set 1> Got the 3 rovers craft in orbit of Arkas.  Was not able to do an intercept of incline match with Vin or Kras.  I hope I have enough fuel to match them and land the rovers.  I guess we will see! <Arkas Rover Set> Setting up the Vin and Kras rovers in their respective orbits. The Kras Rover will require 47 days to get to its transfer point so I have scheduled that for now. <Arkas Moon Rovers Orbit> Now, I can start doing some science! I do need to adjust to the lower scan orbit to get the biomes of Arkas now. I also think that I can lower the orbit of the Kras Lander to get there sooner, so I will try that as well. It worked.  Will get to Kras much sooner now. Getting Arkas Explorer science because I can then send it to the outer moons as well. <Arkas Explorer Science> Kras Rover now in orbit of Kras. Sending Arkas Explorer to Kras for an orbital science survey. <Arkas Explorer Kras Science> Arkas Explorer ready to leave Kras and head to Vin. Should adjust scanner to Kras if possible. Got the scanner in 260k orbit of Kras.  443 dV left in the tank, may not be able to do Vin, but we will see. <Kras Scanner> Arkas Explorer has reached its final destination of Vin.  It still has 1823 in the tank, but it won't be needed.  It required almost 600 to make the journey so I need a quicker route if the scanner is going to pull this transfer off. Lots of science. There doe snot appear to be an achievable Space Low for Vin.  It did not occur above 5K and it hit the ground. <Vin Explorer> Only 344 left in Kras Scanner <Kras Scanner Adjust> The lander made it to Arkas and landed on the Central Dunes biome.  Very successful mission and first interplanetary landing! <Arkas Lander Landed> Only 4 days away from first Duna mission arriving (scanner) so I need to focus on that in the near term and hold the rover science at the Arkas system for later.  

Planetary Encounters

<Moho Encounter Begins> After some adjustments to this and the Duna Scanner, it is time to do our flyby/orbit of Moho.  Hopefully we can go into orbit, but a flyby may be necessary. Lost signal and was worried engine would not shut off!  It did (Mechjeb) so I am in an elliptical orbit of Moho.  I can adjust later if necessary. 709k x 50k (47dV left) <Moho Orbit> Upper space science collected and transmitted. <Moho Science 1> Near space science collected. <Moho Science 2>  

Interplanetary Exploration

A set of rovers were tested on the local system. Eventually settling on  Mini-Rover built around the USI exploration mod.  It was tested both landed via thrusters (for non atmosphere landings) and chutes.  The sims would indicate it is ready. I am going to shift my focus to doing a series of interplanetary missions, so I will also be pulling the crew down from Spacelab I as I want to build a more advanced station once the interplanetary is underway.  I have a set of ships for windows.  They include a scanner for the main planet (and possibly moons).  Explorer stays in orbits.  There is a lander and a rover as well.  The lander has more science but is not mobile, so it is used for the main planet in general. First up is sending the LONG missions to Eeloo because that window is open (and is rare). 1 - Eeloo Scanner (4y 389d) [Clark Interplanetary Scanner] 2 - Eeloo Explorer (5y 11d) [Explorer] 3 - Eeloo Lander (5y 43d) [Interplanetary Lander NoAtmo] 4 - Eeloo Rover (5y 43d) They are all underway with various adjustments scheduled.  It seems the dV is well in the zone at the moment. <Eeloo Rover> The next task was to get the Spacelab I crew home, which was done. <Spacelab I Crew Final Return> Next up is a set of craft heading to new planet Arkas and also Duna.  Their windows are at the same time.  The four main ones to Arkas itself, then rovers to each of the moons as well (see how that goes!)  Four mains to Duna and a River to Ike. 1 - Arkas Scanner (183d) 1439 dV departure (5581 dV) 124d adjust 73.1 <Arkas Scanner> Note: 750 km alt best for first scanner (250 after) 2 - Arkas Explorer (183d) 1423 dV depart (5432 dV) Very wobbly transfer stage.  Should lock gimbal. 122d adjust 19.8 <Arkas Explorer> 3 - Arkas Lander (181d) 1408 dV departure (5292 dV) 121d adjust 42.3. <Arkas Lander> 4 - Arkas Rover (180d) 1396 dV departure (4503 dV) [Mini Smart Rover Interplanetary Atmo] 120d adjust 40.4 <Arkas Rover> 5 - Kras Rover (177d) 1368 dV departure (7184 dV) Need to await transfer due to Mun in the way... Done. 120d adjust 32.9 6 - Duna Scanner (240d) 1010 dV (6014 dV) 21d adjust 7.0 <Duna Scanner> 7 - Duna Explorer (242d) 1008 dV (?) No adjust needed. 8 - Duna Lander (242d) 1008 dV (5698 dV) 69d adjust 3.1 9 - Vin Rover (176d) 1366 dV (6747 dV) 199d adjust 39.1 <Vin Rover> 10 - Ike Rover (242d) 1010dV (7110 dV) 69d adjust 3.7 Quick break for the Moho Explorer Adjustment... Will need another adjust in 6 days.  May not be able to orbit. <Moho Explorer Adjust> Finally, the last of the big train of interplanetary explorers.  The Duna Rover.  Launch is tricky (it is heavy) but should be fine at 30 degrees. 11 - Duna Rover (242d) 1011 dV (4731dV) 68d adjust 3.2 <Duna Rover> Whew!

Local System Core Complete

I have not updated the posts in a while since I only was playing intermittently, so I just kept notes.  These are mush less complete. I used the time to do some basic 'completion' of the core Kerbin system.  Kerballed missions to both Mun and Minmus, the first space station (SpaceLab 1), and I sent my first interplanetary probe (Moho Explorer). I want to build a set of core crafts that I use directly or tweak as I move to the next stage of more hands-on exploration of the local system and other possible settlement planets.  This will include rovers, more advanced stations and settlements on the moons.  Before heading into that, let me log the various missions I have done since my last entry. To start, we did some kerballed orbital missions to both Mun and Minmus but very little was logged about those (they were not even named).  They did register some ribbons for the crews.  After that, the scan missions were adjusted to a higher orbit to get more coverage. <Scan Adjust> The next project was Spacelab 1.  It uses some new (MOLE) station parts and is not very complex.  It housed a pilot and scientist initially to understand how these systems worked. <Spacelab 1 Orbit> That was followed by an unmanned supply mission to dock with Spacelab, which is to stay connected until its food supply runs out. After that, the Moon Lander craft was developed to visit both Mun and Minmus. The first landing mission was Jeb. Bill and Bob visiting the Farside Crater biome.  This could have failed multiple times.  Fuel was too tight and food was close (it seems these missions are taking longer than they used to?).  It was successful at landing and laying out the surface experiments (it was the only one where some did not explode...) So it worked. That was followed by a test of the Explorer Interplanetary probe (lots of science on board) being tested at Mun.  Good test and ready for making journeys outward. <Mun Explorer Test> Mun Lander 2 followed (Val, Alcella, Buzz) at 'Judy Crater'.  Many surface experiments blew up but I also learned to leave the Kraken samples open for return (or they reset).  Good science as well. <Mun Lander 2> Moho Explorer window opened so that was sent on its way.  Needs a fair amount of dV to go into orbit, let's see what happens... <Moho Explorer Underway> That was followed by a Minmus Lander 1 mission.  Wow, more than 30 days?  I don't remember that long, but they barely got home due to food loss and oxygen almost gone. <Minmus Lander 1> Finally, in my recap, I sent a new 2-kerbal science crew to Spacelab to replace the pilot/science crew and test the orbital craft for kerbal changes.  All went well. <Station ReCrew> Now, I am ready to start creating some craft for exploring the other planets by testing a rover (I already have a scanner ready to go) because the more interesting windows start opening in the near future.  

Kerbal Mun Landing

After many tests and much planning, it appears we are ready to handle the Apollo 11 contract and land our first Kerbals on Mun and bring them home again.  This is a special mission and may signal near the end for my historical contracts.  Frankly, the space program got a bit boring after that and I would rather do my own stations and interplanetary missions rather than contracts.  Anyway, we are looking at a momentous moment in Kerbin history! Apollo 11 Jebediah, Valentina and Bill After a complete journey and the need for a manual landing...the hatch is blocked by the platform and they can't get out on the Mun!  Holy crap.  There is nothing I can do at this point.  I can't get the item off and I can't get them out. This mission is dismal. The RCS are flying it all over the place. I am  not sure what the problem is.  I am trying to rendezvous just to get them home. Lot's of errors seem to be happening with my automatic systems.  Final result, I got them home safely.  They did no get to walk on Mun, though. <Apollo 11 Recovered> Well, after testing, it appears there is a fatal flaw in the FASA LM model.  Even when disconnected, you cannot exit due to a blocked hatch.  There is no way to fix this that I can see. In the end, I did succeed in landing on Mun and returning safely even with lots of hassles.  Apollo 11 is successful although not very satisfying.  This may be the end of this Kerbal setup journey since I can't exit the ships for the Mun. Confirmed.  Nothing but ascent module and the hatch is blocked.  It is unusable. Since the next mission, Apollo 12, (and others that follow) are all landing and collect sample missions, this is essentially done. It was a good set of missions being able to recreate so many historic ones with realistic parts.  Whatever the scatterer and visual settings are, I want to save because they are really nice. Game over!

First System Missions

I have created a 3-Kerbal craft to do Munar and Minmus orbital missions.  The first test of this new "Trio" spacecraft will be unkerballed and will include some additional science as part of its test. Trio 1 Orbital 3 Kerbal Tester craft (5541 dV) No crew. Test of the 3-Kerbal craft in an orbital rendezvous with Mun.  Getting some science in the process that returns home. 580 dV remaining after reinsertion to Kerbin and a 20 km periapsis for re-entry. Periapsis went to 60km after warp.  Needed to fix.  Left with 560 dV. Recovered with almost 400 science (more than 700 total with transmit).  Late on chute a bit (nervous).  Can reduce ablator to 400. Successful mission. <Trio 1> The unkerballed Trio 2 mission to Minmus also went smoothly.  It did highlight that at least 30 days are involved in the trip so I added supplies and oxygen.  It is overkill for Mun, but a decent test of the overall system since this is the base craft for future transport missions as well. <Trio 2> Before sending my Kerbals on their first mission outside of Kerbin gravity, it seemed a good time to send the scanners to start mapping the surfaces for later landing (since I have the late-model scanners at this point).  The craft was built (Meriwether Scanner) and a test flight was sent to scan Kerbin.  It went okay but needed more reaction wheel control which was added.  The subsequent missions to Mun and Minmus went off well.  (Power failures are not uncommon, but they seem to be mapping). <Mun Scan> <Munmus Scan> I think we are ready for our first kerballed mission away from Kerbin.  Very exciting!  

Early Missions

I have actually run a number of Kerbal Settler missions already.  It did not seem necessary to log these early missions.  I made it a science-based experience so there is some reward for doing the science work (it makes it a bit more interesting even if unnecessary). I have done a large part of the Historical Progression Tech Tree which I think is pretty good.  It does have an interesting approach where you can move up parts of the tree based on type.  I moved up quickly thanks to KEI, but as I said, this is more about having a purpose behind some missions rather than beat something. I am at the point of the first Kerbal orbital missions.  I have a 2-Kerbal craft that has been tested (Brumby from WildBlue mod). The missions will be Duet 6 (the previous 5 were unmanned tests). Duet 6 Orbital 2 Kerbal craft (4887 dV) Val and Bill in the first Kerballed Orbital Mission 150km orbit.  Seems the supplies are solid (I want to try a different Kerbalism setup)  I am not sure if it is paying attention to radiation and stuff or not. The return is now underway after about 3 hours of orbiting and an EVA report as well (from Bill). Parachute expansion was WAY too close to the ground.  Really thought it was too late!  But they made it! Duet 7 Orbital 2 Kerbal craft (4841 with added science) Jeb (pilot) and Alcella (eng) will be doing an orbital mission at 250 km orbit to test the high space performance as well as do some science and see how it stores on the hard drive.  Alcella will also retrieve the drive and bring it into the craft on EVA.  So, some interesting mission experiments to try out. In moving the science to the hard drive you definitely lose a significant percentage.  To such a point that it seems that transmitting would be better in most cases?!?  I need to understand the value of the drive a bit more (is it just for getting it into the labs?) I want to go retrieve the drive now and see how that works.  Alcella is up! So, when Alcella got the drive, she could not get back in because she was carrying it.  We went on a bit of a wild journey through EVA space but was able to get back to the ship.  The only way I got it in was to put it in Jebs inventory.  When he went out for his EVA, it did not show as carried visually but it wigged out when he went to get back in.  I finally got things back after going to the Space Center and back.  Don't do that again! Recovery successful although once again it did not slow down until very close to the end.  I think I need to increase the altitude (was 700, increased to 1000) again.  Maybe 1200?  Basically, it was close and I jettisoned the heat shield to slow down quicker at the end. <Duet 7> Duet 8 Orbital 2 Kerbal craft (4857 dV, different science) Gilnne (pilot), Bob (sci) This mission will bring a pilot and Bob the scientist (not an engineer) on the trip.  It will go to 200 km orbit and collect low orbit goo and material.  Then, it will shift up to 500 km orbit and get a 2nd batch of the same science.  It will then stay in orbit for 3 days and return.  Nice little mission plan.  Will be shifting to the larger craft next as the Duet will retire except for as an orbital rescue vehicle. The ascent will be 200km with a 2deg end angle (50%). I added some little verniers for a touch! Had a crash during my EVA in the high orbit.  Everything is fine though after a restart (did a recent save).  I have done my 3-day orbit and will be returning shortly. Need 271 to return (837 in tank).  Crew seems fine after 3 days. There seems to be an oddity with this parachute, changing the parameters does not cause it to expand earlier.  If I pop off the heat shield when the parachute does expand, it slows down in time. Success! The final experimental Duet series mission. <Duet 8>