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Everything posted by Laie

  1. Without even looking it up,I can assure you that it isn't necessary. As it has turned out, the stock atmosphere is still quite soupy. I've heard that before, of course, but never really noticed. Yesterday I tried to steer my plane into a glide slope that would assure an airspeed of 180m/s until close to the runway, which I thought was in the right ballpark for a returning shuttle. Guess what? It had to go into a steep dive in order to maintain that speed. When I started setting fixed slopes of 10, 8, 5 degrees I found that my planes can hold any of these, and even 5 degrees doesn't require much in the way of AoA. Eventually my shuttle was circling at under 80m/s, 5km up. It's a sailplane! Now, that was with a L/D of ~5 -- I don't really know if that is much or not. But I guess even planes with considerably less wing can approach the runway at a leisurely pace and will have a lot of time to line themselves up.
  2. I'm trying to write a script that will return a spaceplane to the runway. The actual landing works rather well already, and atmosphery entry too, now I'm trying to tie them together: lining up with the runway coming from arbitrary directions, optionally circling in order to rub off excessive energy. One question I have to deal with is setting the right airspeed / glide slope targets. How much leeway do I have? It's one of the things I usually do by the seat of the pants (if at all, admittedly), but now I have to write an algorithm for it... So, a question to those pilots who fly a lot and pay attention to data displays: could you provide me with a few data points of what works for you? How low and slow can you come in depending on Lift/Drag ratio? Also, quite generally, what do *you* consider to be a high or low L/D?
  3. Laie

    Jool “landing”

    Was it a very small probe? And how fast have you been, in terms of airspeed / surface velocity? My first guess would be that your probe slowed down faster than it was fried, and soon reached airspeeds where survival was possible. From then on, falling and falling is normal. Jool has no surface, but the developers have drawn the line at 250m below "sea level" - anything lower will be destroyed.
  4. Laie

    Recreate A Non-KSP Footage!

    Some backstory: When the US army was mostly done with the V-2 rockets and the german scientists that came with it, Wernher von Braun found himself with a lot of spare time on his hands. He drew up general plans for a flight to Mars, as well as a shuttle to carry all the required materiel to orbit. Fully reusable, too. He called it a "ferry rocket" which was just a bland descriptive term (and a germanicism, I guess). Of course, since then it has become the "Wernher von Braun Ferry Rocket". Behold the power of capital letters.
  5. Laie

    Now this is an challenge.

    Yes, something like this even was a proper challenge once. If you're genuinely looking for how other people did it...
  6. Laie

    Realism in Stock KSP

    I do not think that sheer delta-V equals difficulty, not in and of itself. At some point it creates difficulties, granted, because we're only given tanks and engines up to a certain size, and duct-taping hundreds for a "Rescue Burberry" kind of rocket is indeed an engineering challenge. Whenever I'm promoting a real-scale system I'm silently (and often not so silently) assuming that dry masses etc will be adjusted to fit the scale.
  7. I don't know where you're coming from, what background your having and so on and so forth... so the best advice I can give is: whip out the text editor of your choice and have a good look at the file. You have to figure out the format, at least to some degree, in oder to make your changes (which are relatively easy to do). If you are in any way familiar with manually editing config files, or reading XML without a browser or the likes, it will be a piece of cake. If you're not, this may be a chance to learn. (make a backup!) If it gives you a headache, well, there have been plenty of alternive suggestions in this thread.
  8. Laie

    Realism in Stock KSP

    And given the fun I have whenever I try to install RO, I guess quite a few people would be happy to pay for an integrated solution. Though I guess that RealScale alone isn't enough for a DLC, even though it already requires a lot of work besides: recalculating all engines and tanks, for starters, and probably a whole new tech tree as well. Reentry heat, oh my (though that may turn out to be comparatively easy). The obvious way of adding value that comes to mind is eye candy stuff, because Earth without clouds just looks wrong. I honestly expect some flak if there was a RSS DLC without clouds. Besides, I guess stock clouds would be a selling point in and of themselves. Something else I can think of would be a poor man's RealFuels with a small set of fuel types (Hydrolox, Kerolox, and "Storable") and their respective boil-off issues. Though I'm afraid that this wouldn't help with sales. I don't think RealScale is more difficult in and of itself. Launches tend to take longer, so the try/fail/repeat cycle will take more time as well. But apart from that it's still the same game. Still I'd take it over stock KSP at any time, if only for the sense of awe when your 200km orbit doesn't look all that high next to a real planet. I also expect that it would be a must-have for any serious player (though how many of these are there, anyway)?
  9. That's a good start, IMO. I've been doing it like this for a long time now, haven't touched the launch autopilot in years. A simple recipe: I do the clicky-clicky thing so that I reach 70° when I'm going 200m/s then hit the "SVEL +" button to follow prograde. keep an eye on "time to apoapsis", try to hold it between 30 and 60 seconds if TTA becomes too low, use the +1 clicky to pitch up if TTA gets too large, throttle down when apoapsis reaches the desired altitude, shut down the engines and coast to apoapsis. Some notes: For initiating the turn, "pitch@airspeed" is a much more useful metric than "pitch@altitude". It compensates for TWR to some degree and 70°@200m/s works well for many rockets. In SVEL+ mode, the clicky acts relative to surface prograde. So if you enter +2 for pitch, you will keep your nose 2 degrees above prograde. I find that's an incredibly convenient way to steer a rocket. It's not strictly necessary that time-to-apoapsis is always increasing. On many of my rockets it drops slowly at first, then picks up again later. How fast and how far it can drop before user intervention is required is a matter of experience. But ideally you should be able to just follow prograde until you're well above 25km. Otherwise, start with a steeper or shallower turn. Flying by time-to-apoapsis is another measure that compensates for TWR; keeping it between 30 and 60 seconds will give a steeper or shallower trajectory as required for your rocket. You may eventually start to use different numbers, but this is supposed to be a simple recipe, and those two should give acceptable results with most rockets.
  10. Won't upvote because not directly bearing on the issue, but it's a beautiful display of some heavy building techniques. @bitzoid: keep that in mind for when MEH still isn't large enough. The day will come.
  11. Not sure if I understand you... I think you're asking "how do plan a transfer so that I will match the inclination of something that's already in orbit around the destination body". The honest answer is that I don't know how to properly plan for it, but am certain that in many cases it simply is not possible. You are limited by which way you're coming from when approaching the target body. Which essentially is determined by the launch window. You can get some leeway by doing the transfer a few weeks sooner or later than the ideal hohman transfer window, but this usually won't have much of an effect. Even with the best planning tools, there's a lot of target orbits you simply cannot reach on any given transfer window. If you're lucky, you can make it so that your PE at capture very nearly coincides with an AN/DN. If that is possible, do it, never mind the relative inclination. Capture into a highly eccentric orbit, then do a cheap plane change at apoapsis (which, in this scenario, also happens to coincide with an AN/DN). But often, the cheapest way of getting to the target orbit is this: capture into a highly eccentric orbit around Mars circularize to a very high orbit, as close to the SOI edge as you dare wait until you come across AN/DN, then lower PE and match inclinations in one maneuver. Steps two and three together require considerably less than 1km/s, IIRC. I had to do that a few times, but it's been a while and I seem to have lost my notes.
  12. Oh boy, on more critique that begins and ends with aerodynamics. And this isn't even Eve! I've launched similar (and worse) contraptions when it struck my fancy. On large projects, topping off every tank can significantly increase part count; leaving them off costs some delta-V, granted, but that's by no means ruinous. That said, what concerns me more about the aerodynamics of the vessel are the large rectangular wing pieces high up on the first stage. That far up they're probably more of a problem than an aid. As for the structural problems, which seem to be the main issue here: don't forget the good old struts. Even in the age of autostruts they still serve a purpose. On this craft I'd use them to secure the outer layers of upper & lower stage against each other.
  13. Talking about strange looks: the payload is heavy enough that the senior port can't keep it inside the cargo bay, at least not under 1g. On the runway, the cargo hangs out like a horse's... radish. On my shuttle the CoM shift left me with so little control authority that the landing site was essentially determined by the de-orbit burn. Back to the drawing board!
  14. They are created when you first detect them, and destroyed when you lose contact. Asteroids pop up (are created) randomly, and, if you do nothing, they will just disappear (be destroyed) after a while. If you start tracking an asteroid, it will not vanish for as long as it's tracked. Once you stop tracking, it may disappear. Most (all?) asteroids are projected to enter Kerbin's SOI, and providing they survive the encounter, they are usually deleted soon after. I guess any asteroid that isn't expected to do a close flyby within a given time frame is up for deletion. Once you stick a claw to an asteroid, it becomes part of a Vessel and can be destroyed like a vessel. I honestly don't know what happens when you un-claw it. I expect that it will be treated like debris, but really don't know.
  15. Of the Panther-planes I built, every one that could sustain a supersonic cruise in dry mode was also capable of breaking the sound barrier in dry mode. Depending on factors, this could take some time and involve a shallow descent, or sometimes even a not-so-shallow dive -- but each and every one could be brought across. Somehow. Eventually.
  16. Laie

    Jool ascent?

    According to the Wiki, Jool's atmosphere tops out at 50 (rather than 15) atm. Mammoth/Vector reach zero thrust at 12atm, the Aerospike at 20. Balloons should be pointless in a hydrogen atmosphere, but I wouldn't be too surprised if they worked (and dirigibles, too). Other than that, propellers -- which also shouldn't get much of a purchase on hydrogen, but the place *feels* as if a paraglider and a pair of flippers would do, so what the hell. From approx 7-10km upwards, aerospikes will work well enough that a rocket becomes (mathematically) possible. It might be a pancake ten miles wide, though, I didn't bother checking.
  17. The answer is that the craft probably isn't 100% perfectly symmetrical. Apart from the usual floating point stuff, I have a faint memory that there once were differences in the rigidity of attachments, depending on whether they were the "original" piece or the symmetry counterpart. This would allow to outside boosters flex more or less, thus incucing a slight tilt. I just tried it with a pair of the long boosters attached to an orange tank by means of one decoupler plus one strut (strut near the bottom). Roll out (no clamps), wait a few seconds, ignite. The vessel will reliably tilt away from the part I placed, and towards the symmetry counterpart. Just did a few attempts, plus I have mods installed. So YMMV.
  18. Laie

    Realism in Stock KSP

    I don't think time to orbit is such a showstopper. Or rather, while I believe that time-to-orbit matters, I don't think the difference between current KSP and smurff-RSS would be sufficient. Not that I have any experience with smurff, but I know that riding one of the ICBMs to orbit in RO (y'know, Atlas, Titan, R-7) takes on the order of 7 minutes, which is well in the ballpark of Kerbin launches (certainly if you count the coast at 4x warp, which IMO is the most boring bit). You can *chose* to take longer, but (just look around on these forums) many people do so on Kerbin as well. No. Just no.
  19. Laie

    Realism in Stock KSP

    From what I gather, most people don't even seriously try to make orbit, and of those that do, most drop the game after making orbit a few times. Anecdata gathered from acquaintances IRL suggests that this isn't due to gameplay difficulties, but because there was no serious interest in the first place. Pick up the game at a steam sale, play casually for a while, move on. I don't think player retention would be any worse if we had a real-scale solar system. Not necessarily RSS, it could still be Kerbin and Duna for all I care; but the bodies should be as large as they are heavy. I do think that small Kerbin is to blame for most everything that's wrong or broken in KSP, from armor-plated tanks to the wholly made-up reentry heat. Most of the wrongness is subtle, you can easily fail to notice, yet at he same time it's horribly, utterly wrong. Once you're aware, you cannot unsee -- which is probably still better than believing in a game that appears to be so realistic. On the other had, I believe that the rocketry shortcuts like deep throttling and infinite restarts and magic torque are good to have in a game. Making these work realistically would actually deter people.
  20. Laie

    Recreate A Non-KSP Footage!

    Not sure if it even counts, as the original only ever existed as artwork. Mass, size and overall performance data approximate the original draft, though, so it requires RSS. On Kerbin, the third stage can almost SSTO.
  21. Compared to Thor above, my pictures are nowhere as pretty. But perhaps interesting nonetheless. I went for the classical approach, but not so classic as to use the Mk3 and Big-S parts. Anything you don't immediatley recognize is SXT, though nearly all of it custom scaled, warped, or otherwise reconfigured. Fusealage had to be inflated to 3.25m to accommodate the dummy payload, for example -- 3m would almost, but not quite, suffice. The engine model is SXT, too, but internally it's a Rhino with 10° gimbal range. I expected that I'd have to make my own boosters, too, but as it turned out there was just the thing for me. At 3500kN and 120t, a single one of these has just the right amount of power and gives me a welcome excuse to shift the fuel tanks forward. Picture may not be immediately obvious, but that's a clean enough separation for me. Just like the real thing, it's supposed to barely reach orbit on it's fuel supply; after that there's ~200m/s worth of monoprop for the OMS. Though on the first attempt it was a little too close for comfort. Problems: On the technical side, surprisingly few. Returning with the dummy payload will take it to it's limits due to com shift (hence the canards which I'd rather have avoided), but other than that it works fine. Not too happy about the looks, though. With orange tanks too spindly and Kerbodyne too squat, I guess I'll have to invent my own tanks after all. That, and the OMS exhaust looks entirely too powerful.
  22. Laie

    Eve Gravity Assist vs Direct to Moho

    Most of the trouble when getting to Moho is the inclination change: 7 degrees at a low solar PE. The easy, reliable way of getting to Moho is to treat it like orbital rendezvous. "Capture burn" is just a fancy word for "matching velocities", isn't it? leave the Kerbin system just as it crosses it's AN/DN with Moho. Try to fix most of the inclination difference on departure, and make for a PE around the Sun that touches Moho's orbit. at PE around the Sun, do a retrograde burn. Fix your orbital period such that you encounter Moho the next time you come around. profit! This is *not* the cheapest way of getting to Moho, but you have two launch windows per year, usually arrive within one Kerbin year after departure, and it requires ~4600m/s regardless of when you depart. Launch opportunities where you can get directly from Kerbin to Moho for less than that crop up only once every four years or so. Otherwise, matching inclinations ahead of time is cheaper than using a launch window calculator and going for a straight encounter. Why am I telling you all this when you're asking for an Eve assist? Because I want to make one very specific point: in order to save delta-V, the Eve assist you're looking for should fix your inclination first; actually encountering Moho after the assist comes as a distant second. If you want both from the same assist, you're probably looking for a once-in-a-decade event.
  23. Laie

    New Horizons

    "One important caveat: the times reported above are when the images will be downlinked. This is not the same as when they will be published." (Source: True high-resolution images will take much longer to arrive, several weeks to a few months. If you backtrack in this thread, you can see how things played out after the Pluto flyby. This time around, the data rate will be lower still, so things can be expected to take even longer.
  24. ....and that's the kind of thing I rather leave to Smart A.S.S., so all my shuttles will be for naught.
  25. In the context of the Eve 3000 Challenge, it has turned out that the TwinBoar LFB is the best choice for a first stage on Eve. Obviously raw TWR is so worthwhile that it makes up for a poor ISP. While I could explain the benefits of TWR in many words, I don't know how to quantify it. Is there a way to compare engines that somehow factors in both ISP and TWR? As I'm primarly intersted in Eve lifters, taking off near sea level, this should remove a few variables from the equation. Still, I'm quite clueless as to what I'm looking for.