sdrevik

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About sdrevik

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  1. Because my tug now had a big fuel tank on one side and not on the other, it was unbalanced. I tried shifting the fuel, but that wasn't enough. I tried cutting the throttle to 10%, but that made intercepts difficult to time. So, what to do? I undocked it and mounted it temporarily to the front of the ship. Then, once I intercept the lander, I'll put the lander back on first, and then the extra fuel/shield assembly behind it, and fly to my next destination, Tylo. Once I'm done with Tylo, I just have to carry around the shield (for Duna), which shouldn't throw the balance off too much. However, if that shield tumbles around, it's going to be hell to dock the tug with it!!!!
  2. Update: Got to Jool, did a refuel from Bop, but it's clear the driller is a little small... it would take about 5 trips. So, I've decided on each mission, I must manually refuel once, but then I will use HyperEdit to finish the fueling to avoid sheer boredom. Then we pull off the lander and our first boost stage/inflatable shield and carefully dock the two. After refueling, we pull into Laythe to try out our boost stage / inflatable shield plan. It works great, we re-enter, when the parachutes deploy, we were able to drop of the shield, chutes get us down to about 20m/s, and the engines do the rest right before landing. Takeoff successful, including manual drop of the lower stage via undock, managed to get to a 250x250 orbit (I wasted a lot of fuel coming down from a higher orbit, so the 'tug' had to come down to get me. THAT's where things started to get a little crazy on the tug.... (to be continued)
  3. DESIGN ISSUE #1: did a test refuel at Minmus, found one problem- the '125' converter is 10% of the conversion efficiency of the '250', so I need to be using the '250'. No problem, being modular with giant docking ports, I made another new module, moved it to Minmus, and docked it in the back. Still, at Minmus, it took five refueling runs to top off the tank. Thank goodness for MechJeb rendezvous and docking autopilots. And then down to Dres: Now, where to next? What's the best transfer? Out to Eeloo? Or into Jool to test my Laythe and Tylo stages? DESIGN ISSUE#2: Should have put a relay antenna on the driller, as I use an engineer, and he doesn't know how to fly if not in LOS of Kerbin with the big antenna. For now, I will have to be careful about which side of planet he is on when landing and doing rendezvous. A pain, but not an insurmountable obstacle.
  4. Thanks, I thought you could only turn it on/off, but I'll recheck for an adjustment, maybe added in 1.2 or something. I realized that once I stopped all the crossfeeds, I only have about 3400 dV (if I don't use the fuel in the lander, driller, or supplemental stages.... which I could, as long as I refuel them later). So I'm heading to Eeloo now with just enough dV without dipping into reserves.
  5. So, I wanted to make an 'all in one' tug/explorer (vanilla parts) to export almost all of the Kerbol system. Criteria was that as much of the ship as possible should be reusable at each stop, and it can refuel itself along the way. My plan was to have three main components: a driller (for refueling), a science lander, and a tug to transport the other two components. The driller was pretty simple, with a 4500 ore capacity: Note the large docking port atop, that will mate to the 'back' of the tug. The harder part was building a lander. I started a lander that would handle MOST of the standard planets (Mun, Eeloo, etc) a single stage land/takeoff that would have about 3000+ dV. Added chutes and drogues for Duna and Laythe. For Duna and Laythe, I added a removable inflatable heat shield, connected with a docking port so I could add or remove it as the mission required via a docking port: Experimenting with the inflatable shield was VERY interesting. A few lessons: If you inflate it and it touches an atmosphere, you can't deflate and re-use it. Which means I'd need to bring one for Duna and one for Laythe. When you deflate it, it *VIOLENTLY* explodes. So I separated it as much as I could, and experimented to make sure after the peak of re-entry heat, I could turn the ship prograde, drop the shield, and then flip back retrograde before finishing the landing sequence (in some cases just turning sideways and firing the engines to get the heck away from this giant bomb I'm carrying). Otherwise, the air resistance forces the shield back into the craft, with another BIG BOOM. So, that being said, my tests with Laythe still didn't work because of the high dV needed to push through the atmosphere. So, I added another optional stage I could also add with a docking port: It's super ugly, and the lower engines gimbal way more than they should, making it a difficult craft to control. But I get an extra 1630 dV from the lower stage, coupled with 3670 on the upper stage (if I use the drop tanks, but a bit less otherwise), gives me about 5300+ dV total, enough to land and take off from Laythe and Tylo. Note that I have to cut the fuel cross-feed (otherwise it robs the upper tanks first) and the stage cutover is a manual redocking/staging sequence, but not too awful. So, now I have all the planets covered, except for Eve, of course. So, here is the assembled tug, powered by a dozen nuke engines: Note the two 'extra' sections being carried: - Fuel/Engine set for Tylo - Thermal balloon for Duna - Another set of both for Laythe And, of course, a science lab. Fully assembled and fueled, she has about 5000dV. Getting ready to run the full system test!
  6. Every time a big release rolls out, I start over in career and see how fast I can work the tech tree. This round I focused on getting the science lab, so I could take most of my Mun/Minmus science and get a 5x multiplier via the lab. I have a manned mission going to Duna to land for a contract, but I've filled out 90% of the tree already and haven't gone beyond Duna or Eve unmanned missions yet. I found myself getting a bit bored with making the same designs, so I'm going to finish out the rest of the system using unmanned probes, since I have all the good antennas and probe controllers unlocked now.
  7. sdrevik

    Dres-1

    The things I race for in science: - new experiments = more science - whatever puts me on path to MechJeb/docking - solar panels And as soon as I get a science lab, I put one up and try to run everything through it for the 5x. I have something like 16,000 excess science after filling out the tree before I landed anyone on a Jool Moon or Dres or Eeloo (just flybys).
  8. sdrevik

    Dres-1

    Nice all-in-one. Some ideas: - ring three small ISRUs around the lab instead of one big one stacked to lower center of mass, or maybe two ISRUs and two science Jrs flanking the lab. All that might make a bit more top-heavy. - solar panels look anemic for being that far from the sun- do you have Gigantor arrays researched? - I find one or two drills is more than enough - and yes, if you have MechJeb with docking, putting the space station in orbit can be a big help, too! See my Jool multi-moon mission design. I have three components (lander, orbital lab, fueling ship) to divide out:
  9. sdrevik

    Dres-1

    Post picture of the ship!
  10. Even though I have 15,000 excess science.. it's not enough. I found I had not yet landed on any of the Jool moons. Bad Kerbals! So, i decided I would take a lab with me, and make a single lander that can hit all the moons except Laythe (requires a specialized design). Tylo being the biggest challenge, because of its very high gravity/size, it's like landing on Kerbin without an atmosphere. So I designed a lander with some jettisonable fuel, with the idea I would go to Tylo FIRST, and then wouldn't need those tanks for Vall, Pol, or Bop. I would bring my lab with me as an undockable section, with its own fuel, RCS, etc. Unfortunately, I forgot to put a probe controller on it, but that's OK, I'll just have the lander always dock to it. The small docking ports are for refueling (note that I can't refuel the lander without the lab until I jettison the tanks, but might have been nice to put one on an external tank just in case.). The lab acts as the big com relay back to Kerbin, if needed. And, of course, I need to refuel constantly, so I made a one-piece driller/ISRU/fuel transport, with a small docking port for refueling the lander/lab sections. Small engine to just handle interplanetary and landing on Pol. Checking out the dV for the lander, the DV maps *say* I need about 2280 to land and take off at Tylo, with 4750, I *should* have enough, right? (more on this later). It may take a low starting orbit, but on paper, it should work. So, first we get up into Kerbin orbit, and head to Minmus to refuel everybody for the long drive to Jool. Note that I was able to keep the lower booster from Kerbin, so it took two refueling runs, but the landing section would come into Jool with plenty of fuel, while the driller would come into Jool orbit with maybe only 800 dV, probably enough to get to Pol on its own, but this added extra insurance. Turns out I had plenty, transfer, orbit and landing is maybe 500-700. We refuel everyone at Pol, and head to Tylo. Now, I begin to worry- if I start my landing low (say 17km), and get back to a low orbit, can my fuel ship dip down that low to refuel (before landing and after re-orbit), and climb back out the gravity well and get back to Pol and land? The answer, it turns out, is yes. I leave about 1000 dV for each run back to Pol. So, we try our first descent from 17km. We learn two things. (1) You can't start from 17km because you can't slow down fast enough before gravity sucks you into a mountain. If you thrust downward enough, you use too much fuel. So we raise the descent to about 30km. That works well, but we land with only about 2100 dV left, not nearly enough to get back into orbit. It turns out it takes about 2500 dV to get to a roughly 10km orbit. Yep, this looks bad. So, after failed attempts, I realize I need help. So I built another fuel/engine "top" component to provide more fuel (and the thrust to counter its extra weight). Note that I added a decoupler to the docking ring, because those BIG docking rings have enough magnetic attraction they don't come loose easily. I am still granted the proper dV, but I didn't want to have something that might crash on top of me and explode after landing. With this component and some careful piloting, I'm able to land with about 2561 dV left. Note that I hit hard when I landed and broke a strut, but I should still be fine for Vall. 2561 was enough to put us back into a 9kmx20km orbit, with enough dV left to re-dock with the science section. Then the refueler only had to make one stop! So, the major lesson learned is- don't trust the dV maps. It took about 2600-2800 dV to land and 2300-2400 to reach stable orbit, and that's with optimal piloting. But other than that, the "two ships, single lander for four moons" project is so far a success, and has passed the toughest test.... Tylo, with only one landing strut as a casualty.
  11. Even though I have 15,000 excess science.. it's not enough. I found I had not yet landed on any of the Jool moons. Bad Kerbals! So, i decided I would take a lab with me, and make a single lander that can hit all the moons except Laythe (requires a specialized design). Tylo being the biggest challenge, because of its very high gravity/size, it's like landing on Kerbin without an atmosphere. So I designed a lander with some jettisonable fuel, with the idea I would go to Tylo FIRST, and then wouldn't need those tanks for Vall, Pol, or Bop. I would bring my lab with me as an undockable section, with its own fuel, RCS, etc. Unfortunately, I forgot to put a probe controller on it, but that's OK, I'll just have the lander always dock to it. The small docking ports are for refueling (note that I can't refuel the lander without the lab until I jettison the tanks, but might have been nice to put one on an external tank just in case.). The lab acts as the big com relay back to Kerbin, if needed. And, of course, I need to refuel constantly, so I made a one-piece driller/ISRU/fuel transport, with a small docking port for refueling the lander/lab sections. Small engine to just handle interplanetary and landing on Pol. Checking out the dV for the lander, the DV maps *say* I need about 2280 to land and take off at Tylo, with 4750, I *should* have enough, right? (more on this later). It may take a low starting orbit, but on paper, it should work. So, first we get up into Kerbin orbit, and head to Minmus to refuel everybody for the long drive to Jool. Note that I was able to keep the lower booster from Kerbin, so it took two refueling runs, but the landing section would come into Jool with plenty of fuel, while the driller would come into Jool orbit with maybe only 800 dV, probably enough to get to Pol on its own, but this added extra insurance. Turns out I had plenty, transfer, orbit and landing is maybe 500-700. We refuel everyone at Pol, and head to Tylo. Now, I begin to worry- if I start my landing low (say 17km), and get back to a low orbit, can my fuel ship dip down that low to refuel (before landing and after re-orbit), and climb back out the gravity well and get back to Pol and land? The answer, it turns out, is yes. I leave about 1000 dV for each run back to Pol. So, we try our first descent from 17km. We learn two things. (1) You can't start from 17km because you can't slow down fast enough before gravity sucks you into a mountain. If you thrust downward enough, you use too much fuel. So we raise the descent to about 30km. That works well, but we land with only about 2100 dV left, not nearly enough to get back into orbit. It turns out it takes about 2500 dV to get to a roughly 10km orbit. Yep, this looks bad. So, after failed attempts, I realize I need help. So I built another fuel/engine "top" component to provide more fuel (and the thrust to counter its extra weight). Note that I added a decoupler to the docking ring, because those BIG docking rings have enough magnetic attraction they don't come loose easily. I am still granted the proper dV, but I didn't want to have something that might crash on top of me and explode after landing. With this component and some careful piloting, I'm able to land with about 2561 dV left. Note that I hit hard when I landed and broke a strut, but I should still be fine for Vall. 2561 was enough to put us back into a 9kmx20km orbit, with enough dV left to re-dock with the science section. Then the refueler only had to make one stop! So, the major lesson learned is- don't trust the dV maps. It took about 2600-2800 dV to land and 2300-2400 to reach stable orbit, and that's with optimal piloting. But other than that, the "two ships, single lander for four moons" project is so far a success, and has passed the toughest test.... Tylo, with only one landing strut as a casualty.
  12. Agreed, I didn't understand the logic of even having the Stayputnik, or why even nominal probes are farther along the tree as well. If it were me and I were the game-balance-god, I'd downgrade the requirements for probes and antennas, and create a mechanic in the tech tree where you would need to research 'Kerbal endurance' components (space food, space diapers, space toilets, water reclamation systems, etc), and each one would allow a maximum mission time for the Kerbal, beyond which the Kerbal dies. Initially you'd have an endurance of a few hours, research level 1 to get a few days, level 2 to get a few weeks, level 3 nearly a year, level 4 pretty much unlimited (recycling). It would also make mission planning more important, as you couldn't cover up mistakes with "oh, it's OK, we'll just make another two or three revolutions around Kerbol until we find another window." That is, until you hit level 4. But that's another thread...
  13. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^' This. Thank you for being a person who gets the point. It's not a sandbox game if there's really just one route to go (or one reasonable route and one obviously bad route). I like the mechanic of having to deal with LOS, have relay stations, etc. I think it's an interesting mechanic. The antennas are all just needlessly weak for their given point in the tech tree.
  14. Yes, I'm familiar with how to 'farm biomes' on Mun/Minmus. I guess I'm a bit bothered by KSP going down the road of being a 'one way to play it' / everyone uses the same strategy, rather than being a sandbox where you can use various strategies of manned missions, probes, science stations, etc to accomplish your goals... Russians sent probes to Venus in 1975. We sent Mariner 4 to Mars in 1964, years before we landed on the moon. Pioneer 11 (Saturn) was launched in 1973. Long range antennas aren't that hard a technology to master. The limitations just seem goofy and an inappropriate limitation in the game. Either ranges need to be increased, or antennas need to be moved down the tech scale another notch.
  15. Sure, but why make the radios so weak that I need to send manned flybys to Duna / Eve / etc to get the science necessary to research the antennas necessary to send UNMANNED missions to the same planets? I mean, after that, what's the point? Just send 1-Kerbal capsules everywhere on flybys, there's more science for less hassle.