Fearless Son

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About Fearless Son

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    Spacecraft Engineer
  1. I had never considered using fairings in an SSTO like that (mostly mine have been limited to heat-resistant aerodynamic nosecone replacements.) Thank you, this represents an innovation I am going to have to steal.
  2. I used to do the drop-tank-on-top-of-solid-booster style quite a lot, but not so much anymore these days. Felt like too much effort trying to balance the fuel consumption to the actually gain in performance. After a certain point, adding more complexity in the name of efficiency becomes counter-productive. Drop tanks that can drop independently of the boosters served me better because I can alter the point that they drop depending on how much I need to open the throttle during ascent. Dropping the SRBs before the tanks are empty wastes that fuel, holding onto the empty tanks because the SRBs are still burning wastes mass, and trying to balance that for every different payload takes too much trial and error.
  3. That is something I try to avoid. I hate bay door clipping. However, I am grateful for the ability to limit the range of motion on some bay doors. Sometimes a fully-opened bay will clip through things mounted on its sides, so limiting the door authority can allow things to enter and exit without the doors smacking through geometry. As for crew mobility, I try to apply clipping rules there too and avoid situations where Kerbals would have to crawl through other objects that have non-crew functional purpose, like fuel tanks. I make an exception if there is no way to make something aerodynamic and aesthetic without that, but I try to minimize that and keep it plausible (an LF/O tank that only carries LF on a splaceplane I can pretend has a crew tube since not all the internal volume is being occupied.) I tend to assume that hollow structural components are Kerbal-permeable (or can be made so by our dedicated VAB construction teams.) I have to say, I love that Dragon-style module.
  4. I am not content with perfect efficiency in my spacecraft, I feel the need for some kind of aesthetic appeal too. They do not need to replicate real missions, or fictional ones for that matter, nor do I want something that is terribly inefficient in the context of the KSP simulation itself, but I do want craft with an interesting and plausible looking profile. For my really long-range missions, I tend to have very minimal integrated fuel tanks, but feed them through much larger fuel tanks attached via docking ports. Makes it easier to assemble and refuel in orbit, and I can drop the extra tanks en-route to save dry mass. This necessitates clearance on certain sides of the ship, often little booms or nacelles to mount them on easily. Multiple points of attachment on each tank are needed to ensure the tanks are aligned properly so we do not worry about unbalanced mass that might throw off the ship during maneuvers.
  5. Built this nice high-altitude plane, sent Jeb out to Kerbin's northern ice shelf to grab a sample and return to KSC. Still had a quarter tank of gas when I got home. That means this can literally fly halfway around Kerbin on a single tank of fuel. Generally cruises at about 800 m/s at an altitude of 20,000 meters.
  6. When I could consistently get to orbit, that is the point I felt like I "got" KSP. It is probably the hardest milestone to achieve for a new player, but also the most critical. Once a player can get past that, everything else begins to fall into place and it gets easier to understand from there.
  7. I can see that, but I generally prefer the engine to be as light and fuel-efficient as possible. I use it primarily as a low-speed landing engine, where long-distance, high-altitude flight is not a priority. If I am going to deorbit a shuttle, I can usually get it into the general area I want to land on, but I need to make some specific flight adjustments after reaching the lower atmosphere. For example, while landing at KSC I find that I often either over-shoot or under-shoot the runway (shuttles and space planes can be especially variable when it comes to atmospheric deorbiting due to their lifting shapes and many possible orientations) so having the small engine to let me turn around or remain airborne longer are important. If I can keep the mass (both from the engine and its associated necessary fuel) as low as possible, that helps and space mission it is trying to accomplish.
  8. Sometimes I would find the Weesley a good engine for shuttles that need to a powered landing. They might take off on big rocket engines that get discarded and make their orbital adjustments on light rocket engines, but once they are back in atmosphere the light rockets will generate insufficient thrust for the pressure they are in and consume what little fuel it has left too rapidly. The Weesley has just the right balance of low weight and decent (but not great) atmospheric thrust to make it good for guiding a shuttle to the runway under its own power. It is either that or do an unpowered glide, which can turn out pretty disastrous if you misjudge any part of your reentry process.
  9. Is the resemblance to a hermit crab intentional?
  10. Technically, if debris is landed on Kerbin (in parts if not in whole) you can actually recover it, rather than just terminate it like you would in any other situation. You even get some credits back for doing so! I think of this as a recycling problem. Melting existing aluminium is cheaper and environmentally cleaner than going through the Bayer process to extract more (it only takes a fraction of the energy requirements.)
  11. No kidding. They would be better suited to a stationary mass driver, like to launch cargo from non-atmospheric surfaces.
  12. I know it gets a lot of hate sometimes, but I enjoyed it. It felt like a spiritual-successor to Zone of the Enders. How do you fight an enemy who has technology that bends the laws of physics? By reminding them that though those laws may bend, they do not break.
  13. A landing castle?
  14. A design like that looks like it wants to have F-14 styled variable geometry wings that fold back above the fuselage for storage/space, and extend for areal cruising and landing.
  15. Happened in my career game with an early probe established for a contract. It needed to be in high Kerbin orbit, and I put it there. Minmus then put it into Kerbol orbit.