6) The KSS and RIS

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After their first trip to another world, penny pinchers at the KSC wanted a cheaper way of performing future missions. They came up with the idea of a re-useable interplanetary ship, the RIS. They would use a ship that could attach to a lander in low orbit, take it to another planet, let it do it’s stuff then take it back to Kerbin. The lander could then return to the ground while the RIS would be refueled ready for another mission.

To refuel something however, you need fuel. Therefore….

The KSS

The Kerbal Space Station in it’s first iteration is purely going to be a fuel depot for the RIS. There will be 5 components in total, a central hub and 4 fuel tanks.

The hub is first to be launched
The hub is first to be launched

The Hub has 6 spokes to attach other modules (I’m only adding four at this point though) and two docking ports on either end for the RIS to dock. Ive put parachutes on the boosters and the middle stage of the launcher in the spirit of re-useability.

The hub section gets shoved into position...
The hub section gets shoved into position…
To a 500km equatorial orbit
To a 500km equatorial orbit

I decided to personally take the mid-stage booster back down to Kerbin (it has a probe core on it for that purpose)

It all goes pretty well...
It all goes pretty well…
But perhaps landing legs would have helped...
But perhaps landing legs would have helped…
Yea... they would definitely have helped
Yea… they would definitely have helped
But at least the parachutes survived!
But at least the parachutes survived!

The fuel tanks are launched and shoved into position in a very similar way to the Hub.

Fuel tank launch

Although this time the mid-stage had landing legs!

They sorta helped... not quite perfect though!
They sorta helped… not quite perfect though.

Piece by piece, the KSS was assembled in orbit.

Fuel tank 1

Fuel tank 2

Fuel tank 3

RSS fuel is used to maneuvre the tanks into place, taking care not to smash what's already there!
RSS fuel is used to maneuvre the tanks into place, taking care not to smash what’s already there!

Fuel tank 4

But finally the station is complete! Its not the most pretty or complex station out there, but its mine! Plus it can always be added to later.

So now to make use of it…

The RIS

 

RIS

As shown above, the RIS is very similar to the ship that took Jeb to Duna last week. The docking port on the top can be used to attach a lander and four nuclear engines can propel it to other worlds.

RIS back

On the other side is another, large docking port. My thinking it that if a particular mission needs more fuel than the current RIS, I can stick another tank on here. Or even a  larger lander if required.

The RIS is a bit wide so I decide to see if I can fit it into one of the central docking ports of the KSS…

And I can! Just!
And I can! Just!

RIS docked

The RIS and KSS are now ready to help Kerbals get further afield and re-use a good chunk of the hardware needed to do it.

 

 

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