AstroDoc

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About AstroDoc

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  1. Playing the game, there have only been a couple of times when I wished I had hinges etc. One of them related to ore Quite some time ago, when ore and ore-conversion were introduced into the game, I explored the option for a time. I would have a rover with lots of electrical power and the drills and the storage tank do the drilling/collecting (I wanted a precise drilling site), I put the ore conversion ship and associated holding tanks in orbit, and I had a transfer ship with a storage tank to move the ore between the 2. One significant drawback was the need to do the land-based docking/transferring on a flat surface, as I had arranged/tested for it to be done on a flat surface near the launchpad back on Kerbin. I wished for a more flexible docking option Thanks to rotation devices, pistons, and hinges, I now have that flexibility The picture shows a transfer ship landed/crashed at a deliberately odd angle on the launchpad (to make an interesting target for my rover's docking port), and a drilling/collecting rover with a docking port on a robotic arm
  2. I have been re-reading 'Space Race' by Deborah Cadbury, the book which accompanies the BBC television series (which was shown again on TV in my city recently, and is available on DVD). I recommend the book and the series to all rocket builders. I was interested to read that the Jupiter C rocket design (as stated in the 'A Second Moon' chapter, a chapter covering events in the mid 1950s) had 'The two upper stages were boosted with fourteen small, solid propellant rockets'.
  3. A lot of my initial Kerbin orbits with LFE-last-stage-before-payload rockets tend to be ~72000m and largely circular. For recovering the last stage I suggest :- In 72000 orbit, moving over Kerbin on the opposite side of the planet to ksp site, shrink the orbit and bring in 'peri' near ksp site to ~48000. Have the 48000 'peri' sitting over a spot on the ocean which is directly under the far end of the right-angled 'bay', 2nd bay up along the coast from the ksp site. I splash down in the ocean not too far out from ksp site
  4. Thanks. I am grateful for your comments. I am pleased with the 'view' count so far. On reflection, perhaps I should have added 'cheap and disposable and time-saving' into the title. At the beginning of the project I had meant to stop at the 9 S 650, 3 S 650, 1 S 650 lifter, but I got 'carried away'. Yes, it was a 'giant wall of text'. As a doctor who regularly reads research papers, I am used to having to read a lot of text on background, method, and results. It seemed only natural to include everything. Yes, I must soon move on to using delta-V calculators to assist me in creating rockets. For Mun and Minmus, I agree the delta-V difference in making an orbit then expanding that orbit out, versus aiming straight up, can be significant eg for my 15 t Mun payload, going straight up, I need to expend 72 payload fuel units to create the same Mun-direction orbit with one end at Mun altitude, that I can get by using the same rocket and orbiting Kerbin first (and expending no payload fuel). This would be less for different-direction orbits required by some of the Mun contracts. Going straight up takes less player time, which has it's merits when there are dozens of contracts ahead. For other planets I aim straight up for Kerbin escape (aiming backwards along the line of Kerbin orbit for Eve etc and forwards for Jool etc) then once in Kerbol orbit I expand or contract orbits to create a transfer orbit. The winglet idea is a good one, particularly for the 8 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 S 650 and 12 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 S 650 lifters I hadn't looked up the figures for terminal velocity, and I appreciate that 'Acet' provided them. I trialled parachutes etc on the LFE stage of one of my lifters above, and I can recover significant costs that way. There is significant player time required for that added step. I am only using stock parts. I agree there is a lack of efficiency. Interestingly, when I tried the '8S 1L(Skipper) [2880] 25t' lifter below, slowing the SRBs down to minimise encroachment on terminal velocity under 10000m, and using some LFE thrust for a few secs at the beginning, it didn't get to orbit. 'Throwing it at the sky', giving the SRBs 85% thrust, the lifter worked. Perhaps terminal velocity is more important for bigger rockets with more drag. Having tried 2-stage lifter with an overworked Mainsail (overworked from my project's point of view), I should have thought to try the same idea on Skippers and the LV-T30 Unfortunately some of the new lifters below were tested with the LV-T45 In response to replies I add some new lifters 1st stage (power percent) [fuel percent], 2nd stage () [], 3rd stage () [] - Target - Payload mass (payload fuel needed to get to target) [Lifter cost, cost per ton] NB S = SRB S 250 = RT-10, S 650 = S1 SRB-KD25k. Power and fuel percent only included if not 100% (with a few exceptions). '$' used for Kerbal currency for convenience 6 S 250 (46), 1 LV-T45 - Kerbin orbit - 2.8t (34 f left over) [$13300 - ~$7000 = ~$6300 (No signif saving, but might fill a niche)] 2 S 650 (90), 1 LV-T45 [with 900 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 5t - (76f left over) [$13800 - ~$6600 = ~$7200 (save ~$1800)] 2 S 650 (90), 1 LV-T30 [with 900 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 5t - (88f left over) [$13700 - ~$6500 = ~$7200 (save ~$1800)] ** LV-T30 ** 3 S 650 (82), 1 LV-T45 [with 900 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 7t - (67f left over) [$16350 - ~$6600 = ~$9750 (save ~$750 .. and might fill a niche)] 4 S 650 (80), 1 LV-T45 [with 900 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 9t - (44f left over) [$17500 - ~$6600 = ~$11000 (save ~$2400 .. and cheaper than S 650 just below)] 2 S 650, 1 Skipper [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 9t (140f left over) [$26650 - ~$17450 recovered cost = ~$9200 (save ~$4200)] 2 S 650, 1 Skipper [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 11t (54f left over) [$26650 - ~$17450 recovered cost = ~$9200 (save ~$8800)] 3 S 650, 1 Skipper [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 12t (155f left over) [$29440 - ~$17440 recovered cost = ~$12000 (save ~$6000)] 3 S 650, 1 Skipper [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 14t (40f left over) [$29440 - ~$17440 recovered cost = ~$12000 (save ~$9700)] 4 S 650, 1 Skipper [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 15t (124 f left over) [$30450 - ~$17550 recovered cost = ~$13000 (save $8700)] 4 S 650, 1 Skipper [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 16t (70 f left over) 6 S 650 (90), 1 Skipper [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 20t (90f left over) [$35200 - ~$17200 recovered cost = ~$18000 (save ~$7500)] 8 S 650 (85), 1 Skipper [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 25t (31f left over) [ $39800 - ~$17300 recovered cost = ~$22500 (save ~$9000)] 8 S 650, 1Mainsail [with 5760 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 30t (314f left over) [$58200 - ~32200 recovered cost = ~$26000 (save >$22000)] 8 S 650, 1 Mainsail [with 5760 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 34t (26f left over) [$58200 - ~32200 recovered cost = ~$26000 (save >$28000)] Again some pics below
  5. See my new thread 'Lifters, light, non-heavy, mainly-SRB and pancake, a method'
  6. I'm playing version 0.90. Early on in the career game, before the science tree gets fully opened up, the contracts called for a range of lifters for orbit and Mun and Minmus missions. I'd patched together lifters in the past but I wanted a more organised approach. Having created a payload I wanted to easily find a pre-tested lifter, with only partly-opened-science-tree parts, to get it up. I am aware that advanced players use 'delta V' to calculate things, and I could probably learn how to do that, but I do sometimes like to try doing things my own way. I did come across some formulae for calculating delta V, a complex one for multi-stage rockets and a simpler one for single-stage craft, both on this forum (on one of the threads with 'lifter' in the title). Kerbals seem like simple folk though, so I wanted something easily understandable. On reflection, my calculations end up being about acceleration and time, and velocity does equal acceleration by time. Before starting this project, I did search all forum threads with 'lifter' in the title, ignoring the ones for 'heavy' lifters. Some observations I'd made underpinned my approach :- * Drag seemed to be a problem at 100m/s at 1000m, at 250m/s at 5000m, and much less of an issue above 10000m (these particularly noticed while using space planes) * The faster the take-off (taking into consideration the drag) the more efficient the lifter * Engines used at 100% power seemed more efficient than those with lower thrust settings * Solid rocket boosters (SRBs) seemed significantly cheaper than liquid fuel engines (LFEs) * Almost all of my rockets had a payload which included a LFE at the base, so I wanted a lifter to 'nearly' get me where I wanted to go, then the payload could do the last bit * There's an unexpected slow-down after dropping off a stage .. and after calculating/trialling some lifters, I found 3 stage lifters were more cost-efficient than 4 stage lifters * After calculating/trialling some lifters, the 315 strength SRB wasn't all that useful compared with the 250 and the 650 SRBs Using trial and error I found the payload that the different lifting engines could lift, which would get the rocket to 100m/s at 1200-1300m. I measured how long each engine lasted at sea level (ASL) and above 10000m eg the 250 SRB can lift it's own mass (3.75t) plus payload 10.35t [Total 14.1t] at the required acceleration, and goes for 29 secs ASL and 31 sec above 10000m Using those findings plus trial and error, I found the required time a 3-stage lifter needed to get the payload nearly to 'orbit' (~186 sec total lifter work + or - ~3sec), 'Mun influence' (~214 sec), and 'Minmus influence' (~216 sec). Leaving Kerbin influence required very little added thrust compared with getting nearly to Minmus influence. Creating lifters, I made sure each stage could lift itself and the mass above it at the required acceleration (or 'close to', or better). Getting to Mun and Minmus influence I used the 'aim straight up, 45 degrees ahead of the Mun (or Minmus)' strategy. I created a spreadsheet, which grew as much by evolution as design, to do most of the calculations. I allowed for reduced fuel levels in a stage to reduce weight/mass. The spreadsheet would provide the percentage power level required for each stage I found I could predict the type of lifter and power levels required to get a certain mass up, with reasonable accuracy. I calculated the maximum mass each lifter could get up, then tested it. I noted the fuel required by the payload LFE to finally get the payload to the desired place eg to the altitude needed to get within Mun influence (if that was the target). I calculated cost per ton for each lifter to get the mass to orbit, for comparison. To get an in-between mass up, I could reduce the fuel in the 3rd stage (just prior to payload), and make a prediction using the evolving spreadsheet. I compared some of my patched-together lifters with spreadsheet-designed ones, and the designed ones did better. I created some lifters using the spreadsheet (lifters I'd not created before) which was useful. I found I could 'get a bit more' by setting the 3rd stage to 100% power for orbit (not with the very low payload rockets), and the 2nd and 3rd stages to 100% for Mun/Minmus, and by setting the power a few percent higher (usually ~5% higher) for the 1st stage. Note that the tested payloads had only an OKTO as the pod and no added 'control' components Note that the mass information near the bottom right corner in the rocket-building screen was very helpful. Note that my strategy to to get to orbit involves angling the rocket to ~22 degrees by around 10000m up, 45 degrees by around 22000m, quickly starting the move to get to 90 degrees when the 'apo' gets to ~52000m, and (except for the smaller rockets) delaying the firing of the 3rd stage until quite late (call it the '5 step takeoff'). I found that for '4S' 1st stage rockets and larger ones, starting the angling around 2-3000m and doing it more gradually, and having a no-thrust break between stages, got a greater mass into orbit Despite the feeling that overlapping stages in Mun/Minmus lifters seemed to help, with few exceptions the final results were better by just doing the stages one straight after the next (firing the next while releasing the one before). Note that my Sepratrons tend to be tweaked to 60% power and 50% fuel for the 650 SRBs (or pairs or triplets of them) ** SPOILER ALERT ** If you enjoy making your own lifters, and working things out for yourself, don't look at my results (below) too closely 1st stage (power percent) [fuel percent], 2nd stage () [], 3rd stage () [] - Target - Payload mass (payload fuel needed to get to target) [Lifter cost, cost per ton] NB S = SRB. L = Mainsail. Power and fuel percent only included if not 100% (with a few exceptions). '$' used for Kerbal currency for convenience (1 S 250, 1 S 250 .. 1 S 250, 1 S 250, 1 S 250 .. 1 S 315, 1 S 250, 1 S 250 .. On my list but not included here .. Much payload fuel used to get to goal with these) 1 S 650 (89), 1 S 250 (70), 1 S 250 (43) - Kerbin orbit - 2.3t (2 fuel units) [$4850, $2110/t] 1 S 650 (90), 1 S 250, 1 S 250 - Minmus influence - 1.2t (0.64 fuel units - back towards Kerbin) 2 S 650 (77), 1 S 250 (78), 1 S 250 (51) - Kerbin orbit - 3.3t (4f) [$8000, $2425/t] 2 S 650 (80), 1 S 250, 1 S 250 - Minmus influence - 1.8t (0.15f) 2 S 650 (100) [90], 1 S 650 (88), 1 S 250 - Kerbin orbit - 5.6t (10f) [$9000, $1610/t] 2 S 650 (94.5) [90], 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Mun influence - 3.1t (0f) 2 S 650, 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Minmus influence - 3.1t (2f - back towards Kerbin) 3 S 650 (93), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Kerbin orbit - 7.7t (4f) [$12200, $1585/t] 3 S 650 (94.5), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Mun influence - 4.1t (2f) 3 S 650 (89), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Minmus influence - 3.9t (0f) NB 3 extra struts needed to make the lifter work NB 3 S 650, 1 S 650, 1 S 315 eg 4 t to Mun Inf with 4 f needed - Not as good as 3S 1S 1s NB 3 S 650, 1 S 650, 3 S 250 eg 4.2 t to Mun Inf with 3 f needed - Not significantly better than 3S 1S 1s NB 3 S 650, 1 S 650, 1 S 250, 1 S 250 eg 4.3 to Mun Inf with 1 bf needed - Not significantly better than 3S 1S 1s 4 S 650 (85), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Kerbin orbit - 9.3t (0f) [$13400, $1440/t] NB 8.7t (3f) with '5 step takeoff' 4 S 650 (90), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Mun influence - 4.8t (0f) 4 S 650 (90), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Minmus influence - 4.6t (1f) 5 S 650 (87), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Kerbin orbit - 9.7t (0f) [$14000, $1445/t] 5 S 650 (86), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Mun influence - 5.6t (3f) 5 S 650 (86), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Minmus influence - 5.4t (4f) 6 S 650 (85), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Kerbin orbit - 10.9t (0f) [$18000, $1650/t] 6 S 650 (82), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Mun influence - 6.2t (1f) 6 S 650 (82), 1 S 650, 1 S 250 - Minmus influence - 6.0t (4f) 6 S 650 (94.5), 6 S 250, 1 S 650 - Kerbin orbit - 13.9 (12f) [$21700, $1560/t] 6 S 650 (94.5), 6 S 250, 1 S 650 - Mun influence - 7.5t (7f) 6 S 650 (94.5), 6 S 250, 1 S 650 - Minmus influence - 7.2 (8f) NB There was a benefit with this one for starting 3rd stage engines while 2nd stage engines were still firing, for the Mun/Minmus lifters 6 S 650, 3 S 650, 1 S 650 - Kerbin orbit - 18.7t (2f) [$25500, $1365/t] 6 S 650, 3 S 650, 1 S 650 - Mun influence - 10.2t (3f) 6 S 650, 3 S 650, 1 S 650 - Minmus influence - 9.8t (5f) 9 S 650, 3 S 650, 1 L [with 1080 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 24t (34f left over) [$43700 ($1820/t)] 9 S 650, 3 S 650, 1 S 650 - Mun influence - 12.8t (7f) 9 S 650, 3 S 650, 1 S 650 - Minmus influence - 12.2t (5f) 8 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 L [with 1440 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 27.5t (14f left over) [$48150 ($1750/t)] 8 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 L [with 1440 fuel] - Mun influence - 15t (11f) 8 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 L [with 1440 fuel] - Minmus influence - 14.5t (7f) 12 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 L [with 1440 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 35t (14f left over) [$55800 ($1595/t)] 12 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 L [with 1440 fuel] - Mun influence - 18.5t (11f) 12 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 L [with 1440 fuel] - Minmus influence - 17.5t (5f) NB 8 S 650, 4 S 650, 1 L [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit 35t (18f left over) [$54650 ($1560/t)] Not as nicely 'designed' but a bit cheaper than the nicely 'designed' 12S lifter above NB 16 S 650, 8 S 650, 1 L [with 1440 fuel or 1800 fuel] both made obsolete by 2-stage lifters Somewhere after 35 t, with one exception below, 2 stage lifters with an overworked Mainsail tend to be cheaper Need care with struts etc, because sometimes the larger lifters can wobble and come apart just after lift-off 12 S 650 (76), 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 39t (172f left over) [$60500 (~$1550/t)] 12 S 650 (76), 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Mun influence - 22.1t (4f) 12 S 650 (76), 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Minmus influence - 21t (3f back towards Kerbin) 16 S 650, 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Didn't get to test due to glitch (1-2 Mainsail fuel tanks just disappear on staging) 24 S 650, 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Didn't get to test due to glitch 18 S 650 (70), 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 52t (180f left over) [$73750 ($~1420/t)] 18 S 650 (70), 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Mun influence - 28t (6f back towards Kerbin) 18 S 650 (70), 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Mun influence - 29t (12f) 18 S 650 (70), 1 L [with 5760 fuel] - Minmus influence - 27.3t (14f) 16 S 650, 8 S 650, 1 L [with 2880 fuel] - Kerbin orbit - 60t (80f left over) [$82700 (~$1380/t)] 16 S 650, 8 S 650, 1 L [with 2880 fuel] - Mun influence - 34t (5f back towards Kerbin) 16 S 650, 8 S 650, 1 L [with 2880 fuel] - Minmus influence - 33t (11f) NB This lift wasn't 'designed' for an orbit mission, but .. Some screenshots included below showing how I tended to assemble these lifters, plus there's an image of one of my spreadsheets [see my own reply **5 replies down** with some LFE-final-stage lifters. Cheaper than these, but requiring player time to recover the final stage to make them cheaper] I would appreciate comments, particularly from others who have tried to find a 'method' (or found a simpler one), and from anyone who can get similar masses into space significantly cheaper than those listed above. I will cope with being called 'utilitarian' (already labelled as such on another thread .. or something equivalent) because none of these lifters have any 'style' or 'flair' to them. I presume there might be the people out there who would find this approach/list interesting or helpful.
  7. Enterprise My 1st attempt, just to see if it was possible .. before I checked out the forum. Obviously I left it on the launchpad and edited the persistent file to get it into orbit. Yes I know that's cheating in a major and perhaps shameful way, but I thought the effect was worth it. I would like to have seen the screenshots from sirguinea, but I couldn't open them Perhaps there might have been more pictures on the 1000 page threads, but on the more obvious 'Star Trek' and 'Enterprise' threads there weren't many pictures. AstroDoc
  8. Konstitution Klass My 1st attempt, just to see if it was possible .. before I checked out the forum. Obviously I left it on the launchpad and edited the persistent file to get it into orbit. Yes I know that's cheating in a major and perhaps shameful way, but I thought the effect was worth it. I would like to have seen the screenshots from sirguinea, but I couldn't open them Perhaps there might have been more pictures on the 1000 page threads, but on the more obvious 'Star Trek' and 'Enterprise' threads there weren't many pictures. AstroDoc
  9. Payload at each end I tried to build a craft with a plane at each end and the payload in the centre, but controlling it's ascent was a nightmare. I successfully made one with part of the payload at each end, and the plane in the centre. I was disappointed that the final cost of the Mun lander mission was ~7000 Kerbal currency. With trimming I might have been able to get it down to 6000+, but in the end a simple rocket might have been cheaper. I adhered to provisos A and B associated with rule 1 Screenshots below of takeoff, orbit, docked parts orbiting Mun, lander landed and splashed, and plane back on runway. AstroDoc
  10. I saw the protractor on my son's computer desk (an important tool for players of early versions). I looked at the changelog page. I became interested in version 0.17 .. I thought a Tylo landing might be a good challenge. This thread started 5/1/14 (version 0.23) and version 0.17 was released Sept 2012. I see that some of the early responders to this thread made the trip on version 0.17. The lightest command pod was the mass 0.8 pod that the career games start with, and it didn't come with auto-stabilisation (ie couldn't press 'T' on the keyboard and get it to keep it's attitude). The lightest engine available was the 50-thrust LV-909 (mass 0.5). The lightest fuel/oxidiser tank was the FL-T200 (mass 1.125). No tiny octagonal struts available. It was destined to be much heavier than the lander I screenshot last month for this thread .. There's a tower by the launch site which limits the size of the craft .. There are no docking ports .. In flight there is no 'Set Target' and no manoevre node option (not that I use it much now anyway, but it was very helpful in the early learning stages). Also when I arranged a transfer orbit then went 1/2 way round to create a rendezvous orbit, the map view wasn't as helpful at letting me know that I'd been successful. Having made the trip, I really admire the early players of the game, for doing so much with limited resources. Screenshots below show launchpad rocket ready, en route, and landed on Tylo. AstroDoc
  11. I like playing a role. Some time ago I made out I was the swaggering ultra-rich CEO. I made my employees take me from planet to planet (bringing fuel ships out to me with which I could dock, then getting them to take me to the next planet on). I'd then leave the employee stranded there while another one would take me on to the next destination. Then I played the more considerate heir to the CEO's financial empire, and I sent ships out to retrieve all the stranded employees. Recently I played the 'make it lighter' engineer, ensuring every part of the payload and lifter was the lightest and most efficient for the job. I wanted to make a lander for each planetary body (or a few of them anyway) which had the least fuel possible in the lander craft, for landing and getting back into orbit (eg my post on the thread 'Have you landed on Tylo?') Now I'm the hand-rubbing bean-counter, trying to do certain missions for the absolutely lowest cost I can manage (eg my post on the thread '100% reusable space plane to orbit and back', which showed my 12th version of a spaceplane SSTO which got the cost of a Kerbal-in-orbit rescue mission down to 64 Kerbal currency) AstroDoc
  12. Now that the accountants are having their say (missions need costing to make a profit), SSTOs make a big difference I'm playing a game on version 0.25. I wanted a cheap solution to the recurrent problem of needing to rescue Kerbals who get stuck in orbit. I don't like seeing Kerbals in chairs being toasted on re-entry, so I wanted pod. So here is a basic functional spaceplane. I've tweaked it to have '72' fuel and '55' oxidiser on takeoff, and the pod has no crew on takeoff. Mass 2.71 t. Cost 11885. I can rescue the Kerbal and bring him back to the runway, get 11821 Kerbal currency back on recovery, for a final rescue cost of 64 Kerbal currency. The KSP accountants are very enthusiastic AstroDoc
  13. Rescue spaceplane I'm playing a custom moderate-to-hard game on version 0.25 (I'm at the stage when I still need 'revert' capability), but I still needed something harder than moderate for a challenge. I haven't done a Mun mission yet in this particular game. I wanted a rescue space plane for the Kerbals that get stuck in orbit and need rescue, because I wanted a cheap solution to this recurrent problem. Surprisingly, from my son's point of view, I have only just become interested in space planes, and this is one of my earlier crafts. I had traded some Kerbal currency for some science to get my science tree opened up, for the parts required. Forum posts tend to be hard on chair users, so I wanted pod. I do wonder if bringing home a Kerbal in a chair is close to Kerbal cruelty, so I somewhat agree with them. Forum posts tend also to be hard on ugly craft, but the more I use this one the more I like the look of it. I did hire a Citroen 2CV (an 'ugly duckling' car) to tour Europe many years ago, and I became fond of the look of that vehicle in the end too. So here we have a basic functional spaceplane. I've tweaked it to have '72' fuel and '55' oxidiser on takeoff, and the pod is empty. Cost 11885. Mass 2.71 t. I can rescue the Kerbal and bring him/?her back to the runway. I get 11821 Kerbal currency back on return home. Rescue cost 64. My son is an advanced user. His takeoff is more aggressive than mine. He uses a touch more fuel but even less oxidiser. He'd likely cope with a '72' '44' tweaked plane. AstroDoc
  14. Ion landing on Dres I was surprised to find I could land a ship using ion drive on Dres (and thus presumably could do the same on Ike). Having separated from the fuel ship, I started with this ship in an orbit of 25000m, slowed/descended, landed, took off again, and was able to rendezvous back with the fuel ship. My landing site was at '145m'. All up it took 400 units of ion fuel (from a tank with 700 units) to land and get back up.
  15. Bop/Pol income I'm playing version 24-2, a 'career' game. Having visited Bop and Pol, further contracts are offered to do science there and plant flags. So I arranged my original 'visit' mission to be multi-use. I hadn't used ion drive before 24-2, and reading old posts I'm very glad I didn't. With 1/4 the thrust and nearly twice the electricity use, it would have been a chore. I gather the new version of ion drive is less solar-system-physics 'real' (I've never looked it up myself), but for me it makes for better game play. Even with liquid fuel etc, having set a Jool rendezvous, I can boil a kettle and make a cup of tea while the ship goes around an orbit. I gather the old ion engine required physics-warp, a timer, and a book to read, just to make the orbit adjustment. The thing I would change if I started again would be to send a lesser-known Kerbal on the mission (I sent Jebediah on the mission and I miss seeing his laughing face) The ship got to Bop largely using an atomic engine in the 3rd-to-last stage, having got the craft up using a bunch of 650-thrust SRBs. I can move the lander back and forward between Bop and Pol using fuel from the fuel ship, and refill the lander tank when necessary. The pictures show the ships on Kerbin escape, as they would look docked in orbit of Pol, and the lander on Pol. The income generated will, at some stage, pay for some outlandish and stylish vessel, rather than something so cheap/functional/practical.