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Man on the Mun – The Kerbal Diaries

Over the past few weeks David Carr has been amazing us with stories of his space adventures. His semi-regular diaries and videos absolutely fascinated us, and we’re proud to share them with you now. If you don’t know what Kerbal is… Just go buy it! If you’re not convinced yet, watch these videos.

Entry 1: Learning Lessons
This Kerbal Space Program video is a bit different from the others as it show the evolution of failures for building a new rocket until its successfully works. I decided to build a new rocket and lander capable of landing a larger rover. The last 3 crash landing are supposed to be that explode-y. To save weight the lander isn’t suppose to land gently but rather to crumple to further soften the landing for the rover. The first 2 “good” landings had some mission ending issues. The landing in pitch black safely landed the rover but I forgot to detached the fuel tank below the rover which meant its wheels don’t touch the ground, and its stuck till I send something to move it. The first rover that landed work perfectly until it hit a bump and flipped over and is now stuck. I fixed this and at the end of the video you can see a later rover using specially placed retractable legs to re-right itself.

Entry 2: Exploring the Mun
I reach a new milestone tonight in Kerbal Space Program by “landing” a rover on the Mun (Moon). You can tell by the thumbnail the landing didn’t go as planned. Doing a soft landing in the game is hard, and doing it under the influence of alcohol is near impossible. What I did wrong was not reducing the horizontal speed of the lander. This meant that on touchdown the lander tipped over and blew up. Luckily the rover survived the explosion, but it landed upside down. Thankfully years of watching Robot Wars paid off and I installed a srimech (self-righting mechanism) which i used to re-righted the rover.

I spent the day perfecting my rover lander and I managed to safely land a rover on Mun and drive it around a bit. I then crashed said rover breaking off its solar panels making it a write off!

Entry 3: Man on the Mun
It took me a week but I managed to land on Mun (the Moon) in Kerbal Space Program. Unfortunately I ran out of fuel 200 meters above the surface so there was a bit of an explosion but the the wee Kerbal survived!

Entry 4: Probing Strange New Worlds
Tonight I managed for the first time to launch a unmanned probe to another planet (Eve) and have it land safely. The rocket I used to launch the probe wasn’t built to send spacecraft to other planets, but to rescue stranded astronauts which Ill start doing this week. Although This landing was successful I did fuck up by forgetting to deploy the solar panel after landing. This meant that the probe lost power shortly after landing.

Entry 5: To the Mum and Back!
I did it! I landed a Kerbal on Mun and manged to bring him back! I don’t know how I managed it because I made a couple of major fuck ups on this run. I replaced the capsule form a 3 man one to a 1 man one to save on weight. Problem is I put the wrong type of parachute which wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight of the capsule and fuel tank. Every time I use it the parachute would break killing the crew.

Then I pointed the rocket in the wrong direction to Mun by mistake. I then mistook Minmus (Kerbals other moon) for Mun and over shot Mun. Thankfully after a few orbits I was able to land on Mun. When I was about to reenter Kerbals Atmosphere I remembered that I didn’t put a decoupler between the engine and capsule. This worked out as I was able to then use it to slow down the spacecraft slow enough to stop the parachute from breaking.

Now to start rescuing all those Kerbals stuck on Mun and float in orbit!

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