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Senior Rocket Scientist
Changing Focus in VAB
So I built a rather complex rover and it has a robotic command pod so I can drive it from wherever it lands to where the Kerbals are. Now I want to build a rocket to get it there. For various reasons, the rover has to be launched nose-up on the top of the rocket and its pod, of course, is oriented for when the rover is flat on the ground. So, one of the 1st parts of the rocket was another robot pod oriented to fly the rocket. So far, so good.
HOWEVER, building the rocket is a total pain because the VAB is still basing the symmetry and all on the rover's pod, which is now tipped 90^ from the way it will be in use. Thus, every single part (including all struts, RCS blocks, fuel lines, Seprotrons, etc.) has to be placed individually because the symmetry mirroring puts all parts around a horizontal instead of a vertical axis.
So, is there a way to reset which pod the VAB uses for symmetry? If I could make it use the rocket's pod, life would be a lot easier.
FWIW, I have Subassembly Loader but it doesn't do me any good. It won't let you save anything with a command pod on it. I can remove everything but the pod and save that, and start building the rocket from its own pod so symmetry works, then add the rover subassembly to that. Problem then, however, is that because the rover was built around its pod, I can't get a replacement pod back inside the subassembly.
I'm unsure as to your explanation about your rover, pics would help. A note on the subassembly loader: it requires a free attachment node on the parent part (the command pod) in order to work. If you need parts to be attached between the rocket and rover, attach them from the rocket side and then plop the free rover pod node onto those parts.
Originally Posted by Deadweasel
Junior Rocket Scientist
Try building the rover in the SPH and then build a rocket for it in the VAB. Then, use Subassembly loader to put the rocket on the rover and launch it from the runway. If the rover has an odd shape and a rocket cannot be attached to the bottom directly, place a radial decoupler below the rover's CoM and then place a radial attachment node on that.
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I just would just build the rover parallel to everything else, symmetry should work, then rotate it after you have built it. Of course the SPH is another option.
Senior Rocket Scientist
OK, here ya go. This entire assembly was built the hard way, 1 piece at a time, starting with the rover pod. In the pic below, it's working as designed, too. Deliberately tipping the 1-way rocket over on its side is how I solve the vertical-to-horizontal problem for the rover. And it flies OK. The Rover is destined for Duna but I've tested the whole concept on Mun. However, it was a total pain to build this way so I'd like to avoid the trouble in the future.
Originally Posted by Xaiier
As you can see, I'm using a RollKage chassis for the rover. While this is a great part, I've been unable to find a way to make it work with Subassembly Loader. While I can easily build the rover, grab the blue chassis off its pod, and save all except the pod as a subassembly, I've been unable to use this subassembly. While I can start a new file from the rocket's own pod, put the KWR fairing base on top of that, then attach the rover subassembly, I'm finding it impossible to then install the pod in the rover due to the parts on the chassis always grabbing the rover pod on the way in and not letting it get to where it needs to go.
Hence, my question. If for whatever reason I have to build a rover + rocket from the rover end, how can I tell VAB to orient itself on the rocket's pod instead of the rover's? IOW, change its focus from the 1st pod added to the whole thing to the 2nd pod.