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About suicidejunkie

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  • Location Reentry fireball to the east of KSC
  1. Another good place to link to The ping time from Madrid/Goldstone/Canberra to Voyager 1 right now is pretty brutal, but it is a direct connection.
  2. It is photosynthesis, but in a nuclear sense rather than chemical. Solar-catalyzed fusion which works best with their snack pellets to allow hyperactivity. This also explains why they can survive almost indefinitely, but will become upset and frequently go napping/on strike when snacks are unavailable.
  3. I don't know about your policies on reverts, but my most interesting times have been while dealing with damage and its consequences. Not random part failure mods, but actual incidents such as scraping a tail fin off while landing on Minmus. Which (a few weeks later due to KAC & many simultaneous missions, so a total surprise) then resulted in a flat spin 20km above the space center as soon as the vehicle dropped to subsonic speeds with a marginal fuel balance. Getting that one down safely required some IRC commentary, a bit of experimentation, most of the altitude and creative use of the VTOL thrusters, but it was a very awesome landing for 100% recovery minus the tail fin and fuel.
  4. Getting your launch costs down is important. $100k is a huge amount. I only spend that much when I'm building a new blinged out RTG powered SSTO+M&M tour bus spaceplane. Perhaps you need to consider using more low tech parts and/or permanent infrastructure to defray the costs?
  5. You can also find that value by landing, and then clicking the navball over to show orbital speed instead of surface speed. The exact value will vary by how close you are to the equator and the altitude of the terrain you're on.
  6. Topping Up Aerobrake Fluid. Collecting Roadside Parts. Increasing Recruitment Costs Sabotaging Competitors' Rockets
  7. You might be thinking of stock-typical dV with the tanks made of out lead bricks. Elon is saying that yes indeed, the Falcon 9 has 11km/s dV without a payload. You do need a lot of speed to reach orbit of Earth.
  8. You mean stock verniers?
  9. It would have to be something that justifies putting a price on it at all. Eg: A mobile app for VAB/SPH design work and/or mission planning while away from home. Active terrain effects (lava / flowing water / snow & rain / etc)
  10. Personally, I don't bother with RCS for docking unless the vehicle is particularly heavy, but the midrange ones have a flexible docking collar made of batteries to loosen the tolerances. The first time I tried to rendezvous and EVA Jeb across to the other vehicle, he got clobbered in the back of the head by his original vehicle. That pretty much set the scene for docking the rest of my years.
  11. I'm definitely trying this when I get back to my PC in a couple days, but I wanted to write this one down so I wouldn't forget. KerbalKatcher Mk1 and 2 were destroyed by the Kraken Mk3 had mostly-vertical ladders and Jeb failed to exist close enough to the ladders as he went by. Mk4 had a long row of mostly-horizontal ladders, and with hyperediting Val into a 11.85m orbit across the flats of minmus, I got things lined up but only one frame of contact with the ladder. Installing Better Time Warp, and trying again at 0.1x speed, Val was able to get the (F) grab prompt. Mashing F got her to put her jetpack controls away on the first pass. On the second pass, she rotated to match the ladder orientation without using the jetpack. On the third pass, nothing happened. On the fourth, the universe imploded and Kerbin decided to stop orbiting the sun.
  12. As far as I am aware, there is no speed limit for grabbing on to ladders. This leads me to a fascinating idea / challenge: 1) Construct a surface base on any airless body, composed of a large structure covered strategically in ladders. Note: for reliability, have sets of ladders just like aircraft carriers have multiple arresting cables in case the first one doesn't grab. Clipping them together into one giant ladder should help a lot. 2) Have a Kerbal in orbit, with PE > 0 3) Press / madly hammer the F key with proper timing to grab the ladder and deorbit the Kerbal. 4) Points are proportional to the surface gravity of the body. (Gilly and Minmus are restricted to participation ribbons since the EVA pack alone is more than sufficient there.)
  13. Just jumping to Minmus orbit is trivial. Since it was a bail out during landing, the EVA pack should be nearly full and even the most basic EVA (& rendezvous planning) skills should be sufficient. In 1.0.5 it takes about 90% of a pack to deorbit and land on the flats, then boost back up to rendezvous with a base/ship in orbit. (plus, Lithobraking with your face can save an extra 20-30m/s if gracefulness is not required) The main way to conserve enough fuel for the achievement is to recline your Kerbal so that you have a single thrust vector along prograde and you aren't suffering cosine losses by pressing Shift and W at the same time.
  14. My rescuer SSTO design carries a KAS container with an Oscar and an Ant, a fin for drag and parachutes. It also includes an RTG and radial attach lifesupport can for live rescues. Huge savings could be made by just bolting on the chute (and fins if necessary), then nose-bumping the debris suborbital. For $3000 in LF, there could be enough parachutes and fins to bump a LOT of debris into decaying orbits before landing. The main trick would be in ensuring that you're not wasting more money on parachutes than you recover in (parachute + debris) * distance modifier. Harder nudges to ensure the bits drop into booster bay for example. I mostly just do it Because I Can and there was a contract for it, and I get a free kerbonaut out of the deal. ISRU makes for negative cost missions even without recovering orbital scrap, so be sure to disallow that. A save file with lots of debris everywhere would also be useful for other things, such as piracy/scavenging with KAS but no new launches. It would mean your Pe would immediately move to a bit less than 180 degrees from your current position, and the orbit would quickly become more and more elliptical.
  15. The only thing with more Isp is the ion engine. The only thing with better TWR is everything except the ion engine. If you just want to get to orbit, Whiplash + Reliants will suffice. IMO, the best part of using LV-Ns is that you can go pure LF, and never have unusable fuel types acting as dead weight, but the efficiency is a very close second.