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About Norcalplanner

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    Cheap & Cheerful Rocket Architect

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  1. Norcalplanner

    [1.4.5] Real Solar System v13.1 [03 Sep 2018]

    @rubikscubeworld Welcome to the forums. This is the thread for RSS, which has been updated now to KSP 1.4.5. Realism Overhaul is a different mod (which includes a bunch of other mods by reference) which is only updated for 1.3.1. Many KSP mods are very particular about which version of the game they will run correctly on. You may want to try over on that thread for more assistance: You'll also get better help if you follow the steps outlined in this post:
  2. It's not entirely obvious in the documentation, but a second build rate is unlocked by upgrading the VAB. I would hope that a second VAB upgrade would unlock a third build rate, but I haven't gotten that far in my RP-1 career.
  3. Norcalplanner

    [1.2.1] TRP-Hire (formerly KSI Hiring)

    MKS includes it's own version of this mod. Do you have any of the USI mods installed?
  4. Quick RP-1 question... Is there any space center improvement which reduces training times, even if it's just a little bit? Such as a higher level astronaut complex? Right now my initial proficiency training for Gemini is taking 520 days or thereabouts.
  5. Norcalplanner

    What did you do in KSP today?

    Over the last few weeks I've been having a lot of fun with RP-1. Here are a few screenshots, in no particular order. Enjoy. First successful Mercury orbital launch. Pretty sunrise ascent of an early satellite launcher. First unmanned lunar landing. A reminder to check where you're coming down when making your reentry burn - the Himalayas make a suboptimal landing zone. Thankfully we cleared the mountains and came down in Bangladesh.
  6. Just wanted to say that I'm playing an RP-1 career on moderate difficulty and am finding it a good mix of challenging and enjoyable. I don't think I've ever launched this many sounding rockets in a career before. One question - is there any way to tell an astronaut to keep current on something in terms of training until further notice? I'm still just using the X-1 cockpit, and even though I only have the one type of craft I've still had a few instances where the intended crew lost their quals prior to actually going on a mission. If such a feature isn't available, I'd certainly encourage it, either locked behind a certain level of astronaut complex or increasing the maintenance cost of the astronauts affected. Thanks again for making such a wonderful addition to KSP!
  7. Norcalplanner

    How do you know about Max Q?

    I did a study on TWR, aerodynamic drag, gravity losses, and ascent profiles two years ago, which may shed some light:
  8. An experienced player will be fine in either scale, particularly in a modded install. Delta V requirements for 2.5x scale are approx. 1.58x of stock, while 3.2x scale is around 1.79x the stock Delta V.
  9. Norcalplanner

    Is there a Mk0 fairing mod?

    BDB has 0.625m custom fairings.
  10. Chapter 9 - Getting More Comfortable Away From Home [Note: This chapter marks the beginning of the new KSP 1.4.5 install. While this install is better overall, several mods were still creating problems and had to leave us, including BARIS, Pathfinder, Science Alert, and Editor Extensions. We'll be adding mods back in as things get more stable in 1.4.5.] With the successful Boomerang probe returning from Sirona, many more science nodes are unlocked. It's decided to put some of these new parts to use making a better station to give our Nodensians more experience living and working in space. Nodens Gateway station is sent aloft, and includes both our first centrifuge and the 3.75m Bigby Skylab module. The station has significant fuel reserves, and completes orbital insertion itself. This shot shows all the nosecones being jettisoned - I'll frequently place these on exposed docking ports to improve aerodynamics during ascent of larger unwieldy craft that don't have a fairing, then jettison them all at once via an action group. The first crew is sent up shortly thereafter, including two engineers to handle deployment of the centrifuge. As they approach the station, it becomes clear that something isn't right. The lower tank, an SSTU part which includes most of the battery capacity for the station, appears to be askew. Let's dock, deploy the centrifuge, then try a quicksave and quickload to see if it goes away. F5 F9 - looks the same... F5 F9 - looks the same... F5 F9... Wow, that's a lot worse. The engines are now messed up, so we're not changing this orbit anytime soon. Subsequent investigation with the Nodens Gateway 2 and 3 craft traced the problem to auto-struts which couldn't be turned off, caused by the use of the full size wings as fins in the first stage and by the thrust plate in the second stage. CURSE YOU, STRUTTY THE AUTO-STRUT! The crew attempts to work on some MOLE experiments, but it quickly becomes apparent that power generation is a little low, and battery reserves are woefully inadequate for transiting the dark side of each orbit. All of the MOLE, Snacks, and Kerbal Health requirements translate to a need for moar powr. Power Module to the rescue! Heading in to dock. This 2.5m SSTU tank is over 60% battery, and has six more Gigantors. With full power available during the entire orbit thanks to over 130K of EC onboard, the crew completes the contracted experiments, then heads down in an undocumented fashion. NSP administration decides to turn back to probes for additional science to unlock better station parts. Some timely ScanSat contracts call for radar, biome, and resource scans of Airmed and Brovo. Father, forgive me, for I have asparagus-staged the lifter for a scanning probe in a stock scale install. In my defense, the probe is going to try to scan three different moons and land on two of them, all around a gas giant as difficult to get to as Eeloo. As before, a tanker is sent up to top off the probe's departure stage before it heads off for Sirona. A few months later, Sirona looms large as the probe approaches. I just love getting up close to celestial bodies with rings. The probe does a capture burn at Sirona Ap, comes in for a gravity assist off of Airmed, and heads into a polar orbit around Damona to start scanning. The photographer was unfortunately in the restroom when all of this occurred, so it's undocumented. Here's one of those tricks I learned a long time ago. For solar-powered probes heading to outer planets, make sure that all the panels can function when the probe is pointed either directly towards or away from the sun. Then target the innermost planet, and keep the probe pointed accordingly for maximum solar power generation. One of our contracts is for a rendezvous and spacewalk outside of Nodens' SOI. Two craft are launched about an hour apart - this small probe... ... and this new crewed craft called the Sparrow (which underwent a lot of testing). With the removal of BARIS, we lost the powerful 0.625m escape tower, and the other tower on hand is a 1.25m part. In combination with a desire to shift over to the larger docking ports, a new craft was needed. We're still using as many MOLE parts as possible, with the new craft consisting of an Appaloosa (back seat for the Mk1 capsule) and the Bigby Crew capsule. We lost one capacity for one crewmember, (going down from six to five) but it will have to do. Both craft are put into the exact same orbital plane, then ejected out of the SOI on near-identical trajectories. The docking and spacewalk were undocumented, but here's a shot of the Sparrow IV heading back to Nodens. Because of the discipline in launching both craft in such close proximity, total time to complete the rendezvous and then head back into Nodens' SOI was less than twelve hours. Enger and Jensel get the first shiny gold and white ribbons. This seems like a good place to bring this chapter to a close. Where will the intrepid Nodensians go next? Find out... in the next chapter.
  11. Norcalplanner

    [1.4.5] Stockalike Station Parts Redux (Sept 21)

    Yep! I'm using Kerbal Health in my current career, and these parts help on multiple fronts. For example, the centrifuges reduce the microgravity penalty, while the Hostel habitat is so large that it reduces the penalty from being on a mission away from home.
  12. Norcalplanner

    [1.3.1, 1.4.4] Thor Tech v0.9.6.3 ~ [July 9, 2018]

    What do you get when you don't know what you're doing and graft an electric turbofan onto an existing rocket design? In my case, something that looked like this: Sort of like an overweight manned missile with really bad performance. I freely acknowledge the horribleness of the design.
  13. Today I did my first MOLE experiments in interplanetary space thanks to this little cruiser: The cruiser dropped Pe so that the orbital period was 30 days, precisely 2/3 of Nodens' orbital period. Three orbits later plus a minor correction burn, all four occupants made it back to Nodens safe and sound. Keeping everyone happy and alive with both Snacks and Kerbal Health in play is proving to be an enjoyable challenge. In particular, I've taken to reinforcing the radiation shielding by attaching structural plates to the outside of the craft. Gives it a bit of a steampunk vibe.
  14. Nice! Gravity assist off Sirona? Or brute force straight from Nodens?
  15. Norcalplanner

    [1.4.5] Stockalike Station Parts Redux (Sept 21)

    What other mods are you running? You may require Equipment (WBI) or MaterialKits (USI) depending on your settings. Or they may need to be EVA.