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About Starman4308

  1. What did you do in KSP today?

    First, in my 3.2x GPP save, I imagine a certain Kerbal is very thankful my rescue vehicles are stupidly over-engineered... because I went to the wrong moon, only realizing my mistake as I was refining my Ceti intercept. That Ceti intercept was changed to a trans-lunar slingshot to remain within Gael SOI, followed by some finagling to get a relatively cheap Iota intercept. Unfortunately I didn't take many screenshots of it, but because of it being stupidly overengineered, I still got home with probably ~1500 m/sec of delta-V. Second, tonight has been mostly RP-0, and I do not regret it. While my initial efforts were less impressive than hoped for (I didn't realize just how terrible the full:empty ratio is on those early SRMs), Shockwave III with an Aerobee sustainer cracked into upper atmosphere: Shockwave 4 breached the Karman line (if not the 140 km space limit) with a stupidly overbuilt Aerobee/V-4 sounding rocket. It had the delta-V to hit space easily, but I tilted it 5 degrees east on the pad, underestimating how much that would depress the trajectory. Breaching the 140 km space boundary was supposed to be the job of a second Shockwave IV that was pointed straight up, but that job got sniped by a secondary mission that was supposed to carry a biological sample... to high atmosphere... not into space. This, of course, required building a second copy of that mission to get the biological sample from high atmosphere research. The second Shockwave IV very thoroughly breached the Karman line, hitting 1140 km above Earth's surface at apogee I was very surprised to see the payload (sounding rocket core, parachute, thermometer, barometer, small battery) survived reentry, with deceleration peaking at 59.3G. After the disastrous attempt to hit an X-plane contract with a conventional, HTHL aircraft (which was never able to take off and hit some severe runway glitches), I think I'll just give up on conventional HTHL aircraft and wait until I can do the Scott Manley thing, launch them on SRBs, and recover them under parachute. This... will have to wait. Despite having 41.1 science, I'm waiting for a 15.5 sci/year R&D lab to finish researching other tech tree nodes just to spend that science. Past that, the only other major item on my to-do list is to launch the Shockwave V, with a slightly stripped-down payload (even smaller battery, clipped science parts with nosecone instead of payload fairing), and a 3-stage design, where a 3-Aerobee second stage has been placed between the V4 stage and the original upper stage. This will be necessary to hit a 2.2 Mm sounding rocket contract.
  2. What I've generally done is: I'll place a reference satellite with an MJ core in an equatorial Gael orbit. When a transfer window approaches, I'll create a transfer maneuver, and look to see whether it ejects north or south of the plane. If it ejects north, I'll launch from 270 degrees before the transfer node, if south, I'll launch from 90 degrees before, such that the normal component of my parking orbit is in the same direction as the normal component of the transfer orbit. I have no idea if this is optimal, but it's a simple rule to deal with non-equatorial launches.
  3. What did you do in KSP today?

    So, for my 3.2x GPP career, I've been focusing on getting probes out to nearby planets. Niven is pretty well tackled from orbit, and I think I'm sending a lander at the next transfer window. Thalia is proving a bit of an issue: the delta-V requirements are high and heat builds up fast even for conventional engines. I only have biome/altimetry maps for the southern hemisphere because I was unable to circularize the scansat's orbit. To get a heavy-duty science orbiter to Thalia, I'm resorting to the biggest launcher yet of this career: a 5-meter monster designed to sling 50 tons to Gael escape. I forget where the first-stage engine (which masses 10 tons) comes from, but the upper is a pair of Penguin hydrolox engines from SpaceY. Otherwise, I have landers en route to Niven and Tellumo, probes to Gratian and Geminus, and I'm planning a Tellumo->Gauss slingshot as soon as I can figure out how to translate KSP-TOT multiflyby results into a practical maneuver set. If anybody has a kOS script to estimate the time where you will be at a certain true anomaly, I would appreciate having a reference. Gratian and Geminus are, once again, about the limit of me using solar panels: I need a pair of Gigantors just for the 3.75 EC/sec consumption of relay satellites (1 high-gain back to Gael, 2 medium-gain to communicate with the other relays, 1 medium-gain to communicate with an active vessel). I've also been messing around with small jet planes, though I have a bit of an issue getting them off the runway intact, often resorting to flagrant revert-to-launch abuse. I never knew Gael had a volcano biome, though, until I flew these missions. Finally, as of a couple hours ago, I've started an RP-0 campaign. I'm a little bit surprised about how much it takes just to get used to the new part selection, though I did get a sounding rocket into low atmosphere, powered by a quartet of Tiny Tims and an upper stage of a Aerojet X103C10 SRM. Definitely got it to above 600 m/sec, and I'm already planning the successor: smaller battery, no despin package (that didn't seem to do anything), and preferably a lighter parachute.
  4. I think it's more of "non-essential in the short run". In the short run, you don't need advertising personnel, recruitment staff, most of R&D (except those maintaining certain projects), etc. In the long run, things go very downhill if you don't have those personnel. Fortunately for businesses, they generally don't have squabbles between the CEO and CFO resulting in shutting down non-essential operations, and can continue to operate year-round. Regardless, I suspect it's a relatively case-by-case basis for what parts of NASA stop operating. I'm not privy to exactly what gets shut down, but I suspect most current operations stay running, while planning and research staff might be told to go home unless there's something that absolutely must be kept running.
  5. Surviving 8 km/s Duna aerocapture

    To be fair, the effect of swinging by Ike will be reduced thanks to the tremendous velocity he's approaching Duna at, and the phasing is more of an issue thanks to the short travel time. It's still probably worth it, but the bulk of the braking will still be done at Duna itself. This is hardly a standard Hohmann transfer.
  6. And we are orbital! The world now has a new orbital launch provider!
  7. THE CAMWISE LOGS - "Bring it on!"

    Camwise's diet is not going to be pleasant, is it? Even well-preserved foods don't taste good forever... and I have no idea how much variety there is onboard L'Enfant Sauvage. Between that, and a cobbled-together spaceship whose modules were probably designed to operate closer to the Sun's warming rays, Camwise is going to be one very lucky Kerbal if he survives this. One very lucky, very miserable Kerbal.
  8. Q&A Multi-stage rocket

    Not exactly. It's dependent on aerodynamics and ascent trajectory, which can be guessed at, but don't have an analytical solution anyways. There's also the exact mass breakdown of each stage; while propellant mass is specified (twice, really, since you also know thrust, Isp, and burn time), dry mass has not been specified. You would also need to know how the first stage performs in atmosphere, assuming any upper stages are lit above any significant atmospheric back pressure. Finally, altitude reached is dependent on payload mass. We could guess using rules of thumb and a guess at payload mass, but an accurate guess requires more information to basically simulate the rocket.
  9. Computer Upgrade for KSP - please help!

    Unless you're wanting to upgrade anyways, the first thing I'd try is probably just overclocking your current i7. While there's some generation-to-generation improvement, a Haswell at the same clock rate as a Coffee Lake CPU will perform almost as well. Past that, to reduce loading times, you might put the install on an SSD. It probably won't be super-amazing, since the KSP loading process involves a lot of stuff that isn't reading from the drive (applying MM patches, etc), but it should at least mean physically getting the data into RAM is faster.
  10. Weather is turning to the worse. Booooooooooats!
  11. Surviving 8 km/s Duna aerocapture

    The very short version: because velocities in KSP are so much less than reality, KSP heatshields are very, very weak compared to reality. RSS, because it uses realistic velocities, buffs heatshields back up to realistic levels. As such, slow down before hitting Duna, or you'll burn to a crisp. I don't know what the upper range is for stock heatshields, but it's definitely far below 10 km/sec.
  12. ULA launch thread

    As a great shock to nobody, everything's operating smoothly. Only remaining issue is payload separation, and that is a pretty unlikely failure mode. Incidentally, for those who may have missed this, Rocket Lab is streaming their attempt to launch "Still Testing", their second lightweight Electron booster.
  13. ULA launch thread

    For all the trash-talking on Twitter, I'm pretty sure ULA's launch window closes before Rocket Labs is scheduled to launch. I just wish every space launch agency did streams as well as SpaceX, though I suspect SpaceX, which had been heavily funded by venture capital, had more to gain from good PR.
  14. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    That Tesla Roadster would be pretty thoroughly demolished by the hard vacuum and radiation of space. It's not going to be a functional vehicle anymore even before it leaves Earth orbit. Other than that, I try to keep things in perspective. The ULA payload is slated to go up, they have priority according to the same range rules SpaceX agreed to... and it is an actual payload rather than a demonstration flight with no firm launch date set because they're still testing things.
  15. What did you do in KSP today?

    The most atypical thing I've done today involves a lot of "shoop da woop" and "firin mah lazor". Specifically, I forgot to remove those debugging print statements from a kOS method used to check "okay, do I need to discharge a Near Future capacitor to keep my ion engines running?." As a consequence, every second of a 30-minute-long ion burn, kOS would print out "shoop da whoop shoop da whoop shoop da whoop". At least the burn was a complete success, an Oberth maneuver at Tellumo to bring up my solar inclination to about 25 degrees of the 48 degrees required for a contract. For those unfamiliar with Tellumo, it's a super-Earth about 1.6 Kerbin distances from the sun in Galileo's Planet Pack, which makes it very ideal for slingshots and Oberth maneuvers, though solar panel effectiveness is sub-par. Especially sub-par when Tellumo is in the way of the sun. The purpose of this: I had to achieve this high-solar-inclination contract without really enough time to do a proper bi-elliptic. So, my plan was to have an absurd amount of delta-V (over 10 km/sec) on an ion-powered probe, slingshot it around Tellumo, and complete the rest of the inclination adjustment brute-force. Tellumo is excellent for this; at 3.2x scale, escape velocity is over 10 km/sec, so Sir Oberth grants great rewards for burns deep in Tellumo's gravity well. Seeing as that I'm playing with RemoteTech, and I didn't have relays at Tellumo yet, this meant a kOS script not just to hold the burn while in the communication shadow, but also to discharge my capacitors as EC ran dry, something I'd never done with a kOS script before. Other than that, after double-checking the delta-V requirements for orbiting Thalia with just a few weeks until the transfer window, I very very hastily edited this probe, which used to have a 1-ton recon camera, 0.2-ton M700 survey scanner, and some extra batteries on it. Replacing that mass with an extra 1.2 tons of propellant got my delta-V up to a comfortable 5 km/sec. Past that, in about 266 game days, I'm going to be able to test using KSPTOT's multiple flyby predictions to slingshot around Tellumo towards Otho for vastly reduced delta-V vs. a direct transfer. A big part of my issue right now is just setting up a maneuver node at the correct true anomaly to match KSPTOT's prediction, since the Gael ejection burn has pretty large radial and normal components that differ from what a typical interplanetary transfer looks like.