Ten Key

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  1. Good eye. I skimmed through that manual during my own search and completely missed that. If we take the internal diagram of the Soyuz booster from page 233 of that manual and lay it next to a slightly enlarged cut out of the actual booster from that image. . . . . .we can see that the line from that red external tank goes into the booster right where the peroxide tank would be. Both the nitrogen and the peroxide tanks are tori (donut shaped), so there's only one of each type of tank, even though the diagram makes it look like there are two of each. Nitrogen is fairly benign, but high-test peroxide likes to decompose on its own, and since the process is exothermic it's self reinforcing. In a sealed tank, this decomposition will cause the pressure to build until the tank ruptures. Those red cylinders may be used to mitigate pressure build up in the peroxide tanks, but I don't know why they'd be removed before roll out. As far as I can tell, the peroxide isn't added until the rocket is on the pad.
  2. Will this expansion be available for console versions of the game?
  3. Yep. Sometimes, it is just that simple.
  4. This video is misleading. Scott Manley is correct in that a perfectly rigid rocket will not benefit from a puller configuration, since the thrust vector is always locked relative to the rest of the rocket. However, rockets in KSP are rarely rigid, and if you watch that video all the way to the end you can see that introducing even a small amount of flexibility does result in a pendulum effect. For launch vehicles this isn't necessarily desirable. . .we want the rocket to be able to tip in a controlled manned. But for a tug operating in space, it does help. In a puller configuration, any sort of wobble or flex in the system will naturally damp out when the vehicle is under thrust. In a pusher configuration, it's apt to get worse. There's a reason tow trucks are favored over push trucks.
  5. I did some digging and I can't seem to find anything conclusive. Given the handles, the color and the loose hoses, I would be stunned if they weren't removed before flight. Part of the launch prep for the Soyuz rocket involves installing batteries, so it is possible the tanks are some sort of power supply. Another theory I ran across is that they are part of some sort of temperature and/or humidity control system. One thing I did notice is that these tanks seem to be missing from Soyuz rockets launched from the ESA's facility at the Guiana Space Center. . . Roll out at the Russian cosmodrome. . . The rocket below has reached the launch pad and the tanks are still attached. You can see the hoses go into the sides of the boosters. I found a basic diagram of those boosters (Pg 22 of this manual. WARNING PDF) and it looks like there are small peroxide and nitrogen tanks just below the kerosene tanks, and right about where those hoses look like they attach. Those red cylinders may be part of a gas purge for the peroxide tanks prior to filling. That's my wild guess. In contrast, here are two pictures of a roll out at the ESA facility. Note the missing tanks.
  6. No, you won't have to repurchase the game.
  7. For main propulsion, yes, I agree. But I think there's room for an efficiency bonus on the attitude control bits. Not an increase in torque or thrust, but rather a small but noticeable reduction in consumable use. This would primarily affect docking and landing operations, where you would expect the pilot to be the most useful crew member. Scott Carpenter's misadventures on his Mercury flight would seem to be a real world example of this. Changing the efficiency of the propulsion parts would negatively impact the educational portion of the game (was that dV boost due to the pilot, or the Oberth effect?), but KSP doesn't model attitude control well to begin with so I don't see the harm.
  8. Honestly, I think the problem is that Gene isn't talking the whole time. I would cut the first two paragraphs entirely. . .they break up the immediacy of the scene, and don't really convey any information necessary for the rest of the piece. I would also cut out the dialog between Jeb and Val. . .this scene isn't about the dead pilots. It's about Gene. It's about Gene's connections to, and perceptions of, the deceased, the program at large, and the audience listening to him speak. Let the reader see what happened through Gene's eyes. Let him tell the reader how, at first, there was no indication as to what the argument was about, how there seemed to be no reason for the escalation. But as the words grew more heated, and the accusations more wild, those who knew the two of them could start to feel the ghosts, Jeb and Val's dead comrades egging them on through the guilt of their own survival. Let the reader feel Gene's pain at the loss of two friends, and the weight of the burden of having to pick up the pieces and carry on. Let the scene be about Gene.
  9. I see this a lot in Kerbin orbits below about 100 km. Above that threshold, the problem seems to mostly go away. But in a low orbit of 70-80 km, I can watch the maneuver indicator drift away from the heading indicator with no time warp at all. I usually have to correct after 1-3 minutes or so.
  10. Yes, though you're going to have a time of it if the platform you're trying to move isn't symmetric-- if your thrust vector doesn't go straight through your center of mass, you'll get rotation every time you try to burn your engine. As Korbinger mentioned, flexible parts can also create problems when a force is applied. I've had some luck using engine arrangements that "pull", rather than "push". It's the difference between trying to balance a broom in the palm of your hand (unstable equilibrium) versus holding the broom at the top and letting it hang down (stable equilibrium). That does create some design challenges though-- arranging the engines so they aren't blocked by the object being pulled isn't always easy. Korbinger is right, you burn at the low point of the orbit. But as an observation, 150 km x 300 km seems a bit high for a departure orbit. Because of the Oberth effect, burns executed at a higher initial velocity are more efficient. And lower orbits are faster orbits. I usually end up using a 100 km circular Kerbin orbit for departures, but the lower you can keep your initial orbit, the more efficient your departure burn will be. If you're trying to catch up to the target, yes. Lower (inside) orbits are faster. Lower your orbit to speed up, raise your orbit to slow down.
  11. I think it would be appropriate for experienced pilots to provide an efficiency boost to a craft's attitude control systems. RCS thrusters use less monopropellant, reaction wheels consume less electric charge.
  12. This has been my experience as well. Aside from KSP, Morrowind and Fallout 3 are the only games I've ever applied mods to. Both games have a daunting number of mods that change the base appearance of the game. . .sky boxes, weather effects, terrain textures, character models and animations, etc. Basic incompatibilities aside, as a player it is very easy to assemble a batch of VFX mods that function together, but end up looking horrible when taken as a group. I am a big fan of "graphics overhaul" or "visual compilation" packs that allow me to apply a certain aesthetic to my game without having to spend an inordinate amount of time experimenting with dozens of different VFX mods a la carte. This is especially beneficial in games like KSP where there is a strong emphasis on exploration-- having to manually fiddle with and evaluate all of the artwork ruins some of the "I wonder what's over the next hill?" surprise. I find VFX packs attractive because I know someone with an eye for it has taken the time to comb through the final product to make sure the artwork blends well. And yes, sometimes this can be accomplished with a group of individual VFX mods and a single .cfg file. I'm not going to vote in the poll-- I'm not a mod developer and don't have enough skin in the game to warrant an opinion. Clearly, there are ways to do compilation packs right (full list of mods, their licenses, their authors, etc) and ways to do them wrong. But I think properly assembled and credited VFX packs provide value as a form of curated artwork, and I just wanted to raise that point.
  13. Just a slight correction here-- Pioneer 4 was never meant to be an impactor. But it didn't come as close to the Moon as it was supposed to and one of the experiments failed as a result.