Now that we’ve landed on the Mun, established a space station in Kerbin orbit AND one in lunar (munar?) orbit, I figured it was time to get down to the nitty gritty of space exploration. No, not safely returning astronauts home alive, driving around on the Mun!
Again, I’m playing vanilla, mod-less KSP, which means the parts I have to choose from are pretty sparse. In the end I decided that I would attach a rover atop my rocket stack, and use a few tiny engines to assure the lander wouldn’t be smashed to bits.
In the end: smashed to bits.
So I began approaching the problem as I would any other way, rebuild it from scratch. The General Lee prototype was initially built that way because I had no real way of attaching a lander in a way that would survive being sandwiched in the main stack of rocket fuel cylinders and engines. The problem arose though of control, upon activation, The GL simply flew out of control and impacted the surface. The General Lee Mk2 basically circumvented this problem by building the final descent Munar lander as a square, with the lander nestled up underneath the command module. Not the most stable in terms of flight, but it made landing quite easy.
The Mk2 suffered a fatal flaw that became obvious though. I used the thruster blocks instead of the thruster nozzles, which I initially wanted as a kind of VTOL for the rover so I could land it if I accidentally took it off a sweet jump. Instead, after coasting down a huge slope at over 45 mph, the rover inexplicably exploded, probably because itwas far past the rated speed of the wheels. If I had used the thruster nozzles, I could have used them to reverse thrust, as I didn’t have any other way to slow down.
Next on the agenda: experimental rocket designs and Minmus (the second moon) approach.
Should I try some mods?