Excalibur

Members
  • Content Count

    414
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

28 Excellent

About Excalibur

  • Rank
    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

Profile Information

  • Location Array
  • Interests Array

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Update from NASA on Schiaparelli... http://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/further-clues-to-fate-of-mars-lander-seen-from-orbit
  2. What he's getting at is that commercially viable, useful Earth-based SSTOs are essentially science fiction. In very brief summary; How big (i.e. How much can one carry) before a SSTO gets to big and becomes ridiculously inefficient? not very much - useful payload is essentially zero with chemical rockets What would be the best engine setup for an SSTO, only rocket engines, jet and rocket engines, or SABRE derived engines? staging where used engines and tanks are dropped off at intervals What's the best design for a SSTO, rocket or plane? rocket would be the best as it does not waste mass on wings, landing gear etc. For a plane, What's the best wing setup? none - make it a rocket Are they cheaper or more expensive to build than rockets, how much or little would one cost? extremely expensive as they're completely unproven technology Are they easier or harder to build? useful ones are much harder, useless ones probably not so hard What are the pros and cons of SSTOs? have a thorough read of the Skylon thread here - the pros and cons of SSTOs are discussed at length there
  3. Wow that is an old post. I've learnt a bit more about rocket engines since then though I'm still no expert. I'd guess that (depending on the engine cycle) failed ignition and venting propellants through the engine would cause either no harm whatsoever or very bad times - depends on why the ignition failed in the first place. I refer you to the following though for information on the S-IVB and it's propellant pressurisation system; http://heroicrelics.org/info/s-ivb/s-ivb-v-propellant-pressurization.html Particularly the following paragraph; So the force generated is not insignificant. I think the later missions used a much lower parking orbit to maximise payload, and this venting helped offset atmospheric drag too. Don't quote me on that though! I haven't read the whole article above (pretty interesting actually!) but hopefully it also mentions the use of either LH2 or LOX venting for the manoeuvre to send the stage to lunar impact.
  4. Just revisited this after some time away. Looks amazing and everything works perfectly... Except... Jool is completely black. I've read back a few pages and seen at least one other person having this problem. Any ideas? Not forcing DX11 or openGL. Other mods are minimum (Procedural Parts, KER, RCS Build Aid, Real Plume & Smokescreen).
  5. I think my favourite sci-fi craft would have to be the GSV Sleeper Service.
  6. The LEM. Had a soft spot for it ever since I was a kid. Only true spacecraft ever flown with a crew, looks cool as all hell and well, you know... it went places...
  7. Going back to Moho after a break from the game. Thinking to yourself; 'I've played this for hundreds of hours, I know what I'm doing.' Whizzing past Moho with empty tanks at 3km/s Realizing you're not such a smart arse.
  8. Cool post Brotoro. I think it would be interesting to take the same equipment on different aircraft to see which provide the best (or worst) shielding. I imagine there would be far too many variables on commercial flights to produce any useful results though. I wonder what your graph would look like if you made a trans-polar (magnetic pole) flight at the same altitude? Would you see a large spike as you approached the pole? Ever-so-slightly off-topic I was once a long haul flight from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi and gently snoozing away. Suddenly saw a flash of light in my right eye accompanied by a feeling as if I'd poked myself in the eye. First thought was I had done just that due to my sleepiness but I did wonder if I'd just been hit by an Oh-My-God particle.....
  9. Great feedback! I did not want to set in stone what the mission planner should be, rather what it could be and open the subject for discussion. Cpt. Kipard and Red Iron Crown; I understand your concerns of the potentially repetitive nature of the tool described above. The thing is I just cannot think of another way to do it without becoming too complex (and therefore opening up it's use to as many players as possible). To make the proposal more feasible and attractive to the devs I decided to suggest the use of the Fine Print visualizations as they may be implemented in to 0.90 along with the rest of the mod. Likewise, using a modified version of the current maneuver node system would reduce the amount of work the devs would have to do to get a more powerful mission planning system in place. To describe how I envision a system like the one I've suggested will work here's an example; Mission: Fly-by of Jool with ultimate destination being an Eeloo landing. Planning: Create the starting orbit in LKO (70x70, zero inc.) Create a maneuver node for the transfer to Jool. The player can warp time and shift the node until they have what they feel is an optimum transfer. This node displays the trajectory to Jool and beyond. Player discovers that with the planetary alignment they've chosen a gravitational assist to Eeloo is not possible. Player warps time ahead further until they reach a planetary alignment that results in a successful transfer to Jool and slingshot to Eeloo. Create a maneuver node in Eeloo's SOI that results in the desired orbit. Now the mission plan is saved with each maneuver node having it's own location/time stamp. Implementation: Before lift off and in the map scene, the player will see the highlighted initial LKO parking orbit and Jool transfer node. Launch and attain the specificed parking orbit (just like the attain-an-orbit contracts in Fine Print). Also visible will be the planned trajectory to Jool, the maneuver node at Jool, trajectory to Eeloo and then the final node in Eeloo's SOI. To follow the planned mission profile the player then has to burn the nodes in sequence and as accurately as possible. Any errors in transfer burns will not change the position of nodes planned in the mission planner. They remain fixed in time and space as windows to pass through. If you burn at the wrong time or with the incorrect delta-v then you will have to make mid-course corrections to hit those windows (admittedly this won't be easy with complex missions). This recreates how real interplanetary missions have to make precise burns to pass through specific points in space and time. There are issues with implementation; using the mission to Jool/Eeloo above as an example: How would you 'hold' the initial Jool transfer node in the optimum Kerbin --> Jool departure angle while warping ahead to then find the optimum alignment between Jool and Eeloo for the powered gravity-assist? Would the targetting system be able to compute the closest approach to Eeloo in the planning screen effectively? If using maneuver nodes would indeed be too fiddly for this task - what alternatives are there or could be created? Currently there is no way in the stock game that allows you to plan such a mission; mods do help but as far as I know none let you plan for multiple gravity-assists (if I'm wrong I'd love to know) and spreadsheets are very difficult to set up for a lot of players (again if I'm wrong please correct me). If Fine Print is being integrated in to stock in it's entirety and adapting existing assets and code for the purposes described above is feasible, then there may be hope in getting this suggestion taken seriously at some point in the future. I really think that KSP would benefit immensely from a powerful mission planning tool that doesn't require mods or spreadsheets. That's exactly it. It's an idealised mission plan for you to follow and aim to replicate - the player does all the work in setting up the plan and following it accurately. If you miss the optimum space-time window for a gravity assist by more than a few days there's a real chance you'll miss future rendezvous and lack the delta-v to correct your mistake. I don't see any reason why a total delta-v readout could not be included.
  10. I'm a fervent user of KER, would never want to play KSP without it. For me, having hard numbers to work with while trying to work to a given delta-v budget is indispensable. What I tried to describe in the OP above is a visual system that lets you chain together a series of maneuver nodes, each at a different point in time and space whilst giving you the ability to edit, refine and save them for use in flight. Personally I think that a system that does this visually in-game is the preferred option for most players. As useful as they are, spreadsheets are accessed by dipping out of the game and this breaks immersion. I don't really see what your point is regarding having to do the same things twice. The simulation is about setting up transfer windows and slingshots, there's no need to fly it or watch a representation do it for you. It would all be done on-rails and without the ability to focus on a vessel, all the player would be doing is setting up maneuver node 'checkpoints' for use as a reference in a later, live mission. You would choose the trajectory you want to follow in the mission, then fly it for real. The only thing that's potentially repeated is messing around with maneuver nodes, once in the planner and again for real. I think the advantages of such a planner outweigh something as insignificant as having to play with maneuver nodes a bit more - it's something we all spend a lot of time doing anyway.
  11. Seeing as though Fine Print is currently being integrated in to KSP it gave me an idea on how we could improve the game. Fine Print has some pretty cool visualisations of target orbits and the like; assuming these make it through the integration in to stock why not put them to use for other purposes such as mission planning? Below is a rough outline on how it could be done: Create a new scene that is outwardly very similar to the current tracking station. Lets call this the Mission Development Centre (MDC) for the sake of argument. Upon entering the MDC the game is effectively paused and a 'snapshot' of global time, orbits and craft/debris is created. Essentially a simulation, the player can now warp time forwards and backwards (though you would not be able to warp to before the time you entered the MDC). As it's a simulation, it will not have any affect on the passage of time in the actual game. This is where the Fine Print visualisations come in. Allow the player to create a starting orbit such as a zero-inclination 70x70km Kerbin orbit (or any other around any other body). From here they can add maneuver nodes at will, ultimately producing complicated mission plans such as grand tours at any point in time. Once a mission plan has been finalised it can be saved for use; when the player subsequently enters the flight/map/tracking scenes these future orbits and maneuver nodes will be displayed and in a similar fashion to some of the Fine Print contracts. The player will have to fly the maneuver nodes accurately enough to reach their next node at the correct time. The crux of this is that unlike traditional nodes these 'mission nodes' will not be affected by changes in your current trajectory and be more like keyholes in space and time to aim for. I think a system that's close enough in functionality to what's described above will give players a much more powerful tool for mission planning whilst largely removing the need for phase angle calculators; anyone can jump in to the simulation, create nodes and play with time until they get the results they desire. After fleshing this out I had a search on the forums to look for similar ideas and found this - a very similar post from April. Since this thread is dead and my thoughts have added to the subject I think it's fair to highlight simulated mission planning again.
  12. Hell I just bought it again - never really wanted to convert my KSP Store version over to Steam - now I have both =o)
  13. This takes me back a bit... and no, low-level aerobatics in a HeliTrucker never end well... M7dbELg
  14. How else do you think - they build the capsule around the Kerbal of course! I guess that would make BionicJeb?