Lets start this by my acknowledgement that if this were real life I'd have multiple families sueing me over the death of their loved ones. I lost... 4? Pretty sure it was four astronauts during my early attempts to get in to space. Or even to get the pod back on the ground without exploding.
The Clature mk1 will be an attempt to simply get a pod in to space and back home again. Simple early nasa design, the pod literally sits ontop the fuel tank.
Clature mk1 v1
Got about 1000 feet in the ground before fuel ran out, it was at this point in time that I realized I couldn't release the pod from the fuel tank, asterouaut died somewhere out in the ocean.
Clature mk1 v2
Discovered how to set up stages. Didn't do it properly. When I fired the engines, the entire ship exploded.
Clature mk1 v3
Discovered how to set up stages properly. When fuel ran out I released the pod from the fuel tank... and realized pods don't come with parachutes as a default. This asternouaut is permanently spread across the facility parking lot.
Clature mk1 v4
This ship exploded on the launch pad, apparently what I thought was a fuel container was actually a combo container/thruster and it didn't like having a separate thruster attached to its own.
Clature mk1 v5
Huzzah! I figured out pre launch stability arms so that the thruster no longer 'sits' on the launch pad. Also figured out fuel lines so I doubled the length of the rocket with two fuel canisters and a thruster. Stages properly setup the thruster took me well out in to outer atmosphere where once decoupled the asternaought(ill figure out its spelling eventually...)'s pod took it in to proper space. This isn't an orbit, trajectory says she'll go out and then come back, distance? Maybe a little over 500k meters at peek. Note : deploying parachutes while still in 'outer space' is scary as hell. No visual of them until the atmosphere, then they look like their on fire. Bug? Udunno, but Asternout Kelbey Kerman is very happy to be back on ground in one piece.
Clature mk1 v5 second launch
Rest in peace Kelbey. I decided to try something, launched as normal but angled the ship post launch 45 degrees. Attempting to get him in to orbit. It... sort of worked but I waited too long to deploy the parachute and it literally broke off from the speed he was coming in. -.-7
Clature mk1 v6
Replaced the one seater pod with a three seater! Forgot to set up stages. Also forgot the decoupler. When I hit ignition the engines fired and so did the parachute. The ship fought to rise against the chute for about 30 seconds then spun afew odd circles about 300 feet over the launch pad. The chute found itself above while the ship was no trying to fly full speed in to the ground. The parachute I had also ugpraded to a really resilient version so eventually the fuel ran out, the body of the rocket swung down, hit the platform and exploded. The second backup fuel container also exploded which disconnected the parachute oddly but the pod with three pilots rolled down the launch pad to a up right sitting position, really darkly singed. Whew.
Clature mk1 v7
Stages set up, decoupler installed, dropped from three pre launch arms to two because... well just because. Added a third fuel container, mostly because of the three man pod size. I failed to take the weight fully in to account. v7 made it a little over 90km in to space before returning safetly.
Clature mk1 v8
Added the biggest thruster I could find. Rest of the mk1 unchanged. Thruster burned fuel from three fuel containers so damn fast I barely made it 5km up. And... oddly the parachute failed on the way down, no survivors. -.-
Clature mk1 v9
Removed the overpowered thruster. Right under the pod decoupler I installed a three arm splitter, went from three to nine fuel tanks, groups of three for each of three engines at the base. Also installed three more parachutes because I'm paranoid. Launched the rocket... and learned something new. Ok check this out. Three fuel tank 'pillars' connected just below the decoupler by a three way splitter. But... not connected to eachother anywhere else. Around 300m/s thrust the entire arms started wobbling, eventually one pillar broke off, hit a second and both exploded. I quickly decoupled and parachute launched and got to watch the third arm go rocketing off in circles out over the ocean. Everyone made it home safe though!
Clature mk1 v10
Structure girder connectors between each pillar, 6 total connections. Huzzah! 700km out at peak, total flight time just under 30 minutes from launch to land.
The Clature mk1 has been a resounding success... and failure. Lost alot of people, but made it really far out there. Very very cool game, extremely complex. Don't believe me? Youtube it sometime :) Here's some photos of the mk1. First two were earlier designs. Last three are the v10.