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About sdj64

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer
  1. Mine wasn't the first, but it might be the one you're thinking of. It entered into several missions of the Shuttle Challenge but I decided to do something different for the most recent. It should still work in the current version of KSP.
  2. @IncongruousGoat Congratulations, you have completed the Jool 5 Challenge on Level 2! The modular crew and science pod seemed to work well, and I liked the 3 way symmetry and cage-like construction of your mothership that allowed you to keep your center of mass in line when removing each lander. Yet another well-executed Jool 5, you now have one for each of the levels 1, 2, and 3!
  3. KSP Stock Engines

    I think this is closer to true with staged rockets for getting off of Kerbin than for other applications. There are many engines that can lift a payload to orbit, and not a huge difference whether you use a big cluster of Reliants, a Delta 4 heavy with mainsails, or a single Mammoth, unless you're in career mode and you're worrying about cost. Building a reusable lander for Tylo, a single stage rocket to Minmus, or an Eve ascent vehicle simply cannot be done with some (most) engines. For landers especially, choosing the wrong engines could force it to be much bigger than it could be with the right engines. The more you push the limits, the more a "single percentage point in ISP" becomes the deciding factor whether you can or can't do something. For spaceplanes, the choice in engines is usually clear and the deciding factor is minimizing drag. And of course, reducing dry mass is good for every type of craft.
  4. SpaceX Challenge!

    This challenge is pretty old and hasn't had a post in over a year! You might want to check out a more current challenge, like the one in the link that sevenperforce posted. This challenge is older than yours...
  5. [newbie] Mothership burning issues

    Splitting into multiple burns at periapsis is the generally accepted way of doing things because it's most efficient. However your ship seems to be quite low TWR to even do that - you'll probably need 3 or more burns and it will throw off the timing of leaving Kerbin. It has lots of extra Delta V so going to high orbit (halfway to Mun) first is not a bad choice. Getting within 800 Km is fine with this first maneuver. Once you're on your way to Duna put another maneuver node (correction burn) at your Ascending or Descending node (whichever occurs before you reach Duna) and fiddle again to get closer. If you can't seem to get your intercept closer, move the node closer to Duna and try again. Edit: hold down Alt and timewarp to get physics warp outside of atmosphere, that way you can do the burn in a shorter time. If you have a very big ship, watch out for bending when you do it...
  6. The Go-Anywhere*) Vessel

    I meant using rocket engines rather than jets, which would not be able to land on Tylo. Most of my designs are HOTOL in atmospheres and could be considered "planes" on Kerbin and Laythe. Part count is not bad, about 150 for the mothership itself, although it carries 200+ parts of vehicles. My main issue with vertical rocket designs for this purpose is that it's hard to deploy vehicles and recover them from vertical cargo bays, and horizontal bays on a vertical design lead to high drag.
  7. The Go-Anywhere*) Vessel

    Basically, a rocket SSTO that can make it to Minmus? I have tried to make designs like that for a while, with the added cargo of a couple of exploration vehicles (plane, lander, rover, scan sat) and talked about my progress in the Megaship Engineers thread. Moho would be accomplished with a stop at Gilly, but might not be possible with a chemical-only design. This is not a submission but I would like to eventually go on a Jool 5 mission with a ship like this. Several successful designs have been shown in the Jool 5 Challenge as well, which would fit the criteria for your challenge.
  8. Just for fun, I've been developing a new shuttle with a new goal: high volume to orbit, rather than high mass to orbit. Launching heavy fuel tanks is fun, but I find myself usually wanting payloads that are much bigger but less dense. I'll probably use it for the Mun base missions. Huge cargo bay is about 7.5m diameter and runs the whole length of the ship. It actually does protect the parts inside from drag, though the fairings and all the radiators have lots of drag by themselves. Now it just needs a launcher.
  9. I have really let this go too long, my apologies. @Alchemist Congratulations, you have completed the Jool 5 Challenge on Level 3! I was impressed by the strategy to complete the mission with two almost identically sized vehicles, and it was interesting to see the subtle differences between the two shuttles for their different roles. The HRO has some amazing capabilities and and proved to be capable of the toughest landings both in and out of atmosphere. Congratulations also for your completion of the Elcano and Shuttle Challenges!
  10. Laythe STS finished! Despite the response to my Duna missions with this shuttle It's in good company so far in the STS Challenge V5. It even felt a bit small for the Laythe mission. Just barely enough cargo space for the base, just barely enough fuel to make it home, not quite enough room to put more jets (or nukes)... But what came closest to mission failure was the Kerbin return, there wasn't enough fuel to do anything but aerobrake. It took about 10 attempts, eventually figured out that opening the cargo bay allowed it to enter stably pointed radial out and increased the drag just enough to capture without burning up. Like on the Duna missions, the huge lift provided by all the wing panels allowed it to bank towards KSC in the upper atmosphere for a pinpoint landing.
  11. Naval Battle League 2016-2017

    @MiffedStarfish Really sorry I haven't looked at this in over a week. But in the persist you posted, the Shout is undamaged and it seems like it could be the same one I sent to you. However it seems there are issues with the Aqua class destroyer that will probably prevent me from winning the battle, I don't think the Goblin and Imp have enough weapons left to kill all of your ships. I concede defeat.
  12. @jonny Congratulations, you have completed the Jool 5 Challenge on Level 1! Your plane was lightweight and cheap, earning you the top spot in both low cost and low mass! It was also very part count efficient for a Jool 5 mission. I thought the nuke on the nose was a unique choice, and I liked the yaw maneuver leaving Kerbin. You were pretty close to Level 2, but that Tylo lander would probably have to be much bigger to carry 2 Kerbals. @Xyphos Congratulations, you have completed the Jool 5 Challenge on Level 1! There is no official reward for hard mode, but your piloting was certainly expert-level. I can see how your decisions both in the design and the execution were focused on safety - maneuvers, parachute landing and vertical takeoff on Laythe, high delta-v on Tylo, excess battery capacity on the ion lander - to ensure confidence despite the lack of quicksaves. If you ever do the challenge again, you misread the refueling rule. You are allowed unlimited refueling from your own ship, and the refueling mission is a separate launch from Kerbin meant to allow you to rescue a ship that has run out! Very informative video as well, thank you for the captions that explained all the complex maneuvers. Sorry for the delay in judging these.
  13. Kassinni-Kuygens challenge

    Cool challenge! However, not many people are going to attempt it with the parts restricted to 0.90, that's a very old version of KSP. It would prohibit necessary parts like a relay antenna for the orbiter, fairings for literally any replica launch vehicle, and a heat shield for the landing probe...
  14. Here's a prototype electric propeller plane that can fit in a Mk3 cargo bay so it can be taken to Duna. The propeller is re-attatchable using junior docking ports, while it is spinning full speed the centripetal force keeps them far enough away that they don't magnetize. It also has folding wings. The funny looking landing gear, in theory, allows it to drive back into the cargo bay to be taken home or transported to other parts of Duna. It does have some problems though, the wing often re-docks slightly off center and spinning up the propeller knocks the plane over without a launch clamp to hold it.
  15. Naval Battle League 2016-2017

    What do you mean? I think I'm waiting for your turn in our battle, and @ShadowGoat can still set up if he wants to. Or choose different number/tonnage/location I don't care.