December 10, 2013
So a friend pointed me toward the Kerbal Space Program demo quite some time ago (long before the Mun was made available). At the time I thought it was fun, but I was too engrossed in World of Tanks to pay it much attention. Once 0.18 came out, I figured it was time to give it another shot.
I dabbled a bit on my own at first, but it wasn't until I combined the demo tutorial with some Youtube Let's Plays that I started having success getting to the Mun. Now it's a pretty regular thing. There are also some neat features to be explored on the surface of the Mun once you get proficient with landings. (I've even managed an orbital rendezvous, though without docking capabilities, all I could do was bang against a spent fuel tank.)
Here are some screens from one such Munar launch.
Our target is the arch near the north rim of the large crater that always faces Kerbal.
Here's where I landed on my first arch mission.
I have managed some closer landings, but I haven't gone so far as to attempt landing on the top of it (which I've seen done in a video or two).
Before popping out for an EVA, I jumped to the Jeb's-eye-view from the cockpit to... I dunno, fiddle with switches or something. But what I saw happening out the window caught my eye.
We were about to have a total solar eclipse.
DAMN THE SAFETIES, JEB! GET OUT THERE AND TAKE PICTURES!
A quick (read: sloppy) jetpack flight to the top of the arch and pause for a selfie...
...And the real show could begi....
Dammit Jeb. You missed the start. No Science Points for you!
I didn't bother taking any more screens on that mission, but getting back off the Mun and home with that much fuel onboard is pretty damned easy.
Since then, I've started trying to see just how much delta-V I can get out of the limitations imposed by the demo. My general test method is to shoot straight up until I run out of fuel and see just how much velocity I've accumulated. Using this method at sunset, with enough d-V (>9000!!!!!), you can actually come to a complete stop relative to the Sun and begin the long free fall to a spectacular immolation.
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