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Everything posted by NASAHireMe

  1. Yup, agree with Vall for practicality. If you're gonna do mining/refueling, that seems like the logical place to do it. I play with RemoteTech so I've got a main station around Vall and a constellation of commsats throughout the Joolian system... it's quite complex. I've always liked Laythe stations though. Making a Laythe-capable SSTO is one of the most satisfying goals in KSP.
  2. Here's a thread on the topic. I had the same question and was wondering what Squad could do with extra science. Some people had some great discussions.
  3. Ever since updating to 1.0.2, I've found that MJ's delta-v calculations for asparagus staging longer works correctly in the VAB. It used to be: Stage 0: 2000 dV <-- 'payload'/interplanetary stage Stage 1: 1000 dV <-- upper stage to LKO; center stack of asparagus Stage 2: 3000 dV <-- launch stage; center stack + boosters Now when I'm playing, MechJeb displays this; Stage 0: 2000 dV Stage 1: 0 dV Stage 2: 3800 dV I'm still doing asparagus correctly: fuel lines inward, ejecting booster stages, etc. It's like MJ has forgotten how to calculate asparagus dV since the update. Anyone else has this happen to them? What am I doing wrong?
  4. As you may know, ascending from Eve's surface pretty much requires a staged rocket. The math of SSTO from Eve isn't absolute, but it's pretty clear that it's damn near impossible. So if I want a reusable Eve spacecraft that can land and takeoff from Eve multiple times, what's the best way to make a spacecraft that can re-attach boosters in Eve orbit? WITHOUT Kerbal Attachment System, if possible. Given the complexity of such a system, this is more of a challenge than a practical exercise. I am imagining a core rocket powered by LV-T30 "Reliant" or LV-T45 "Swivels", with boosters powered by Mainsails or Skippers. The boosters are attached to the central stack through docking ports, then action-key'd to detach as staging. Then when I get to orbit, I can attach new boosters from my orbiting "booster module supply station", refuel the central rocket, repack the chutes, and land on Eve again. Are the docking ports strong enough to do this sort of thing? Would claws be better? Is this possible?
  5. Let me answer this for you. It is not cheating. At least, 99.99% of players would not consider it cheating. It is a fundamental part of gameplay
  6. stibbons and Snark have answered the important bits for you: three or four satellites in 700km orbits, evenly spaced with Comm16 antennas and DTS-M1s will give you complete coverage of the near-Kerbin space, total coverage of the Mun (except its backside), and mostly-complete coverage of Minmus. Once you get to Minmus, the boatloads of science you can collect from it will be enough to unlock pretty much all of the other antennas. For these satellites, you only need one Comm16 per craft, which draws very little charge. The DTS-M1 draws more, but even with one Comm16 and two DTS-M1s, you only need eight or so OX-STATs to keep them running, and a few 400-charge batteries. If you want to the full RemoteTech planning shebang, check this planner out. Just make sure you arrange your solar panels so they will always receive light, including from above and behind! Angle your panels during construction in the VAB. And if you've unlocked the small docking port, stick one on. That way, you can dock more powerful antennas, batteries, and solar panels to these satellites as you unlock them in your tech tree. I've used the exact same four-satellite constellation in 700km orbit throughout the game. I just stuck new modules on when I unlocked those techs.
  7. No, not in the stock game. Nothing you unlock will give you a full-fledged 'mission planner' like the type you are probably envisioning. What you are unlocking are the various stock flight capabilities available automatically in sandbox, like maneuver nodes, seeing SOI changes, etc.
  8. Problem solved. User Matt77 posted a similar problem several months ago, but his had to do with ScanSat. RT stores flight computer commands in the save file, under Vessel= "Gilly Station" \\ FlightComputer Active Commands { command 1; command 2; etc }. I just deleted the commands in the brackets. I've got a science lab and a hitchhiker storage unit, neither of which counts as a crewed command pod. And yeah, the "Connected" message is normal when playing without signal delay. I never found the root cause of the problem. I tried reverting back to Signal Delay = True, but the queue was still frozen. Oh well.
  9. I've encountered a bug or something with RemoteTech. Pictured here is a mission to Gilly, currently inbound to an Eve aerobrake/aerocapture. My Flight Computer has stopped working. When I issue a command, it is sent to the Flight Computer's queue. However, the actions are never executed, and my attempts to cancel the commands just pile onto the queue and sit there. I would just ignore the Flight Computer and play it manually, but the Flight Computer is preventing me from using timewarp. When I try to increase timewarp, it automatically and immediately throttles the timewarp back to 1x in order to execute the next (instantaneous) command from the queue, but the command does nothing. I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that I recently switched over from playing with time-delay to playing without time delay. Is there a way to delete the Flight Computer's queue for this vessel in some config file somewhere? I looked around a bit, but I can't find where RemoteTech stores current Flight Computer commands. Or is there some other way to clear the queue?
  10. I've encountered a bug or something with RemoteTech. Pictured here is a mission to Gilly, currently inbound to an Eve aerobrake/aerocapture. My Flight Computer has stopped working. When I issue a command, it is sent to the Flight Computer's queue. However, the actions are never executed, and my attempts to cancel the commands just pile onto the queue and sit there. I would just ignore the Flight Computer and play it manually, but the Flight Computer is preventing me from using timewarp. When I try to increase timewarp, it automatically and immediately throttles the timewarp back to 1x in order to execute the next (instantaneous) command from the queue, but the command does nothing. I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that I recently switched over from playing with time-delay to playing without time delay. Is there a way to delete the Flight Computer's queue for this vessel in some config file somewhere? I looked around a bit, but I can't find where RemoteTech stores current Flight Computer commands. Or is there some other way to clear the queue?
  11. If you want the latest dV chart for 1.0.2, the go-to now is metaphor's updated chart. It's posted here.
  12. Can you point me to the proof of this? I believe you, but is there a longer explanation for why this is? - - - Updated - - - The answer you are looking for is in this thread: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/69659-Apoapsis-plane-change-manoeuvre-%CE%94v?p=971064&viewfull=1#post971064 "In summary, for less than 38.9 degrees, don't raise apoapsis. For 60 degrees or more, raise it as much as possible. In between those, raise it as given by the second equation. If aerobraking, these angles become 19.2 degrees and 28.96 degrees respectively, and in between use the third equation."
  13. It's definitely possible to build cheaper rockets, but that's definitely a good price range to be in. Looking at my fleet of three Mun crafts, they range from 58k to 99k, but they also vary quite a bit in size and capability. From one KSPer to another, don't worry too much about going below 70k. You'll waste a lot of time and effort optimizing a design. On the other hand, no mission should ever cost more than a few hundred k. If you're exceeding 300k, you're doing something wrong.
  14. Yeah, you'll find many of these tips (and many, many more) in this compiled compendium of tips and tricks. I condensed 18+ pages of tips and tricks into one (rather long, I admit) list. So read away! I update the list when I can, and will definitely include any tips from this thread if they aren't already on the list.
  15. I worked in the space industry as recently as last year (the politics/legal/budgeting side, not the technical side). Umbral's kinda right, in that we OUGHT to view NASA vs. SpaceX as apples-and-oranges. But let me tell you, almost everyone, both regular citizens and people in gov't and industry, compare the two. And right now, SpaceX has a huge lead. Actually, you can tell just by asking yourself, "Where do the hotshot young engineers want to work for?". And right now, it's SpaceX, and there's pretty much no other competition (not Lockheed, not Boeing, not NASA). They're helped by a charismatic CEO, an underdog story, good marketing, and a media world that absolutely loves everything Musk or SpaceX does. But let me provide a counterpoint. When I studied abroad in Ecuador a couple of years ago and talked with Ecuadorians about the US, they all revere NASA. It definitely surprised me. When I wore a cheap NASA shirt (not a real NASA shirt, just a souvenir one) to class, I got peppered with questions. I have to admit that probably this reputation is really just a legacy of the NASA glory days, but still. It was enough to make kids in another continent basically bow down to me when I told them I had some experience 'doing space stuff'. I thought that was funny. And also, compared to the rest of the federal government, NASA is ALWAYS ranked as the best, most-loved, and most-respected organization. There's no doubt within gov't that NASA is still top-dog. I've sat in meetings with ppl from other big agencies like Defense or FBI or FAA or whatnot, and I haven't ever met someone who doesn't think NASA personnel are excellent. I think it's that durability of reputation that matters. So on a scale from Kerbol to Eeloo, NASA still ranks as a Jool.
  16. I just discovered this today. Wow I've been playing RT for a few months now and I should have known someone would have made a RT planner or webapp by now. I'm an idiot for not looking around for it. Yeah, I've been (very painfully) doing all the calculations by hand with pen-and-paper. In retrospect, I'm absolutely glad I didn't find this until now. It forced me to discover all the basic concepts myself. For example: Revelation #1: The sats don't have to be in geosynch. I don't know why, but almost everyone starts out with this assumption, probably because we hear about it in the real world without fully understanding WHY and HOW commsats work. Gradually, everyone realizes that it's not altitude that matters, it's matching the orbital periods. Revelation #2: You've got to plan your missions carefully, so you don't end up (for example) sending a lander to Minmus without another sat as Minmus relay, thereby losing comms when Minmus faces away from Kerbin. Revelation #3: You've got to future-proof your constellation so that you can upgrade its equipment as you advance through the Tech Tree. Revelation #4: Cone widths matter. Anyways, thanks for making this. I was literally thinking about making my own RT planning webapp as recently as yesterday. Thank god I found this before I dived into coding it.
  17. GAAHHH ALSHAIN WHY DIDN'T ANYONE SHOW ME THIS EARLIER?!?! It ought to be stickied or something. I should have known someone would have already made a webapp or calculator to plan these sorts of things. I spent 5+ hours futzing with orbits and such in the game, and then another hour doing trigonometry (granted, it was only basic trigonometry), the results of which I posted here. Basically, the gist is that the ideal constellation is a 3-sat system orbiting between 600km and 843.38km. Assuming the sats are placed in an equilateral triangle within that altitude range, you guarantee 100% Kerbin coverage with the basic Comm16 antenna. Wow, now I feel like a fool for wasting all that time. Just yesterday I was thinking about making my own webapp for RT, mainly so I can exercise my coding skills (haven't used JS in forever). Thank god I didn't start. ---------------------------------- To the original poster, I think the REAL benefit of playing RemoteTech or a related mod is to make you grow as a player, in literally the way I just described above. I had to pull out my trig knowledge and do sketches and really PLAN my missions for efficiency, both in terms of dV/$$ and in terms of my personal time and aggravation. Without RT, you never really have to plan your missions. You can theoretically play the whole game vessel-to-vessel (i.e. build a craft, fly it to its mission completion, then build the next craft, etc.). You can't do that in RT. Like in the real world, you've got to modularize and plan for the future. Actually, you STILL have advantages that the people at NASA or Roscosmos never had: you know beforehand exactly how far the next antenna will reach, how much power it will draw, etc. In fact, I would encourage you to play WITHOUT consulting the webapp planner that was just listed by Alshain. It will force you to do the mental planning I just went through, and give you a compelling reason to learn about all sorts of things that exist in the real world but don't have much of a purpose in stock KSP, like Draim's Tetrahedron or Molniya orbits. On the other hand, if learning orbital mechanics and such doesn't give you enjoyment, forget about it. No question, the most annoying thing about RT is those 'Doh!' moments I have from time to time. Usually, it's not slapping on an extra antenna that I need, or forgetting to turn on an antenna until it's too late. I've literally lost six or seven spacecraft that are now doomed to fly around KSP forever, with no control. Second would be the signal delay, but I haven't gone to Jool yet so it hasn't been that bad yet. I'll probably have to set up a remote control station out there. And there are a few things that RT needs to improve. Like the system should automatically reroute relays towards Mission Control, and the Flight Computer should be more programmable. I recently lost a spacecraft because I sent a command to toggle the antenna to protect it during an aerobrake at Eve, only to find that the ensuing command wasn't to toggle it back open, but to close the antenna (even though it was already closed). So it ended up crashing into Eve. A waste of 2 hours. All told, hope you learn from my mistakes. If you play RT rather than AntennaRange (I haven't used AntennaRange; maybe I'll check it out), I recommend playing without signal delay. It's just not worth it until they beef up the capability of the Flight Computer. - - - Updated - - - I ought to make a system like that, purely for the aesthetics. That looks cool. And I totally agree on the other points. I feel like I've invested too much thought and time into RT to go back now.
  18. Very simple question. What exactly goes on when you enable "Hack Gravity" in the debug bar? I had to cheat to recover Valentina. I accidentally quicksaved rather than reverted, meaning that poor Valentina was stuck in her lander directly reentering Kerbin after a long voyage to Dres and back. I meant to aerobrake at Kerbin so that I could transfer her to my Kerbin Space Station, but screwed up the aerobraking altitude and ended up reentering in a lander without any parachutes and an LV-909 without enough thrust to slow her descent. So I enabled "Hack Gravity" and recovered her that way. I noticed that it didn't exactly enable me to 'control' gravity. What it did was basically slow the vessels' descent exponentially, so that by the time I hit sea level her velocity was basically zero. Does anyone have a better explanation to the mechanics of "Hack Gravity", based on how it's coded?
  19. If you want to make those antennas useful (and give you a nice big challenge to boot), play RemoteTech! I started playing it a few weeks ago and it's really not as hard as it seems.
  20. Hey all, Updated my condensed list of all your tips and tricks with the latest changes for v. 1.0.2 since I last posted in here.
  21. Easiest way is to consult a delta-V chart. Any accurate one will tell you the approximate dV for all of the orbits that are important: low orbit around Kerbin to Kerbin escape to interplanetary transfer to capture to low orbit around the target body. For orbits NOT covered on the dV map, you can calculate the dV requirements yourself pretty easily. You will need to understand Kepler's laws of planetary motion and the related orbital period calculation. Read the Wiki here or here. The most important equation you need to know is the vis-visa equation. "For any Kepler orbit (elliptic, parabolic, hyperbolic, or radial), the vis-viva equation[1] is as follows: where: v is the relative speed of the two bodies r is the distance between the two bodies a is the semi-major axis (a > 0 for ellipses, a = ∞ or 1/a = 0 for parabolas, and a < 0 for hyperbolas) G is the gravitational constant M is the mass of the central body The product of GM can also be expressed using the Greek letter μ." You can find the gravitational constant and mass from the KSP wikis.
  22. The Complete Compendium of Tips and Advice! [uPDATED FOR 1.0.2] This is an updated compilation of the tips from the "What are the most important things about KSP to pass on?" thread. Where possible, I have tried to remove any obsolete tips or update them for 1.0.2, as indicated by the [1.0.2] tag. The list is broken into categories. 'Tips' are practical information; 'advice' is, well, advice. They are NOT sorted within the categories themselves. Links to important things are included, and [MOD] when the tip refers to a mod. Standard abbreviations (LKO for low Kerbin orbit, AN for ascending node, etc.) are used. Some tips are for advanced players, but most are for all. Feel free to print out a copy of this list for your reference, alongside delta-v maps and such. Thanks to the original posters of these tips and advice for their contributions. Without further ado: Rocket Construction Tips: MechJeb or KER for calculations [MOD] Reduce payload weight. “Every gram countsâ€Â. Modularize/ construct modularly Shift-Click selects the entire craft Shift-AQWSDE changes the part by 5-degree increments Alt-Click duplicates the part selected Build your rockets radially (i.e. outwards) rather than upwards. [1.0.2]: Drag and aerodynamic stability are now very important, so this tip may no longer apply. SRBs for high launch thrust/TWR MOAR BOOSTERS. MOAR STRUTS. MOAR PARACHUTES. All are cheap. Struts break after decoupling Cubic Octagonal Struts open up a whole new realm of creative rocket designs You only need one strut at the top of a booster, and one at the bottom, usually. The big orange tank tends to overheat easily. Place a lone strut to absorb heat. Strut ‘inwards’ from a booster (place the first end of the strut on the booster, then the main rocket). This way, you can easily duplicate the booster with Alt-Click without having to reattach multiple struts. Use this work-around to enable clustered engines in upper stages 400v batteries and an OX-STAT solar panel so you never run out of juice. [1.0.2]: Physicsless parts have changed. Batteries and OX-STATs are still drag-less, but mass IS added to the parent vehicle. Navigation lights [MODâ€â€B9 Aerospace] Lights, in general. [1.0.2]: Physicless parts have changed. Mass IS added to parent vehicle. Place reaction wheels are close to Center-of-Mass as possible; RCS equidistant and as far from CoM as possible Reaction wheels aren’t strictly necessary, but can save a lot of time rotating your rocket to the right orientation Use RCS when your craft has to dock with something, use reaction wheels when they don’t. Use asparagus staging for launch if you're trying to minimize mass, but SRBs if you're trying to minimize cost or complexity Radial decouplers are expensive. If you need multiple SRBs, stick one on the other, then connect it to the rocket with one decoupler, vs. having each SRB with its own decoupler. Stick to one size of docking ports for your fleet as much as possible Stick a Small Docking Port on every craft, so you can always perform an emergency refuel if necessary. Small Docking Ports weigh very little. Large Docking Ports are directional. Don’t place one upside-down. Use the same action groups as much as possible across your fleet (e.g. pressing “3†always toggles the solar panels) Ladders save the headaches of finicky EVAs More RCS ports, the better. They are massless, so having more doesn’t hurt. Sepratrons can help if used and angled correctly. Don't point them directly at the stack, or else they may blow up the main stack's engines and tanks. Angle them 45 deg. or so away from the main stack. Don’t inadvertently place things on capsule hatches (make sure you don't inadvertently place one by symmetry, too). Calculate the amount of parachutes you need with this Parachute calculator. [1.0.2]: Due to the new aerodynamics, the parachute calculator will only be approximate. Your vessel’s drag profile may vary. Double-check the following before launch: electricity, hatches, docking port alignment, staging order, fuel lines, crew, action groups, struts Fins may be useful at launch to about 20km, but are useless in the upper atmosphere and space You can launch ‘empty’ and refuel at a refueling station in space. This is often simpler and wiser than adding thrust to haul heavy fuel at launch. Name your ships and save them. Save good copies of rockets, landers, rovers, stages, etc. as subassemblies and use prior subassemblies as much as possible rather than designing from scratch every time. If you don’t like excessive ‘revert flights’, make some way to abort your mission and save your Kerbals. Monopropellant may be all you need for very small crafts in orbit. Stick an Octo probe core on every craft. They weigh almost nothing and you get SAS. Nuclear engine doesn’t need oxygen, so empty those oxygen tanks in the VAB. Sometimes reducing fuel in the rocket in the VAB can IMPROVE payload capacity. Ion engines have too little thrust to be useful for anything other than very lightweight probes Build your payload into the last stage of the rocket, not as an inert payload. In other words, have your final lander/probe/whatever be the final stage, not just a payload to be hauled up to orbit. Stayputnik doesn’t have reaction wheels built-in, so you won’t have attitude control without either gimballing or a separate reaction wheel. Plane/Spaceplane Construction Tips: Center of Lift (CoL) ALWAYS behind Center of Mass (CoM) Rear landing gear too far back will prevent plane take-off Front landing gear too far back will cause plane flippage on take-off Place control surfaces as far away from CoM as possible Lift is more important than thrust At high altitudes, throttle down jet engines to prevent flameout while still picking up speed Assign intakes to action groups and close them to prevent excess drag, or open them for more intake air Spam intakes if you want Small Gear Bay is physicsless, whether deployed or retracted. [1.0.2]: physicsless parts have changed. Mass is now added to the parent vehicle. Don’t forget Center of Thrust! If it’s too far above, below, or to the side of the CoM, your spaceplane will be very hard to control during the rocket portion of its flight to orbit. Translate your view in the Spaceplane Hangar w/the middle mouse button Flip the plane upside-down to make placing landing gear easier. Interleave engines and intakes to prevent asymmetrical flameout, per Kasuha’s technique. [1.0.2]: This is no longer an issue. MechJeb can handle intake management and throttling for you [MOD] Rover/Landing Tips: Rovers/landers should be wide and low to prevent flipping Place landing legs on topside of rovers to re-right flipped rovers Remap your SAS keys from your motor keys to prevent accidental flipping, or drive your rover in Docking Mode Rover CoM should be at wheel axle, not attachment point Disable steering on rear wheels for better high-speed handling Use roll and turn controls to ‘lean in’ to a turn When going up steep slopes, put more traction of front wheels w/SAS or thrusters Use downwards thrusters to soften falls Disable front brakes so you don’t flip when braking suddenly Use trusses as bumpers to guard during crashes Structural girders make for great lander legs Use a mod or switch to IVA for radar altimeter readout for landing [MOD] Use drogue chutes for heavy landers (the red Mk parachute) You can make a very durable box with stuff inside using structural panels (good for cheap probes). [1.0.2]: This workaround has been superseded by the new gear bays. Landing directly on wheels can be risky because they have low impact tolerances. Better to land on landing legs, then retract them to settle onto your wheels. [1.0.2]: Some of the new landing assemblies are more durable than their predecessors’. On bodies with low gravity, a nuclear-powered lander may be more efficient and easier than a manned rover. If landing on a hill with a tripod leg configuration, position a leg downhill and lock its suspension. Park a probe/rover with batteries and solar panels near KSC to serve as a target for landings near KSC EVA Tips: Pressing ‘[‘ and ‘]’ keys changes between nearby ships/Kerbals Kerbals can survive falls from great heights, but not explosions. Fall head-first by clicking and dragging the Kerbal during EVA; their helmets are very, very strong. Pressing ‘Shift’ makes your Kerbal run during EVA You can collect science even when science parts accidentally break off during a rough landing, either through EVA or the Tracking Station You can land and return to orbit with just the EVA Jetpack on Gilly, Bop, Pol, and Minmus If you run out of fuel, you can use your Kerbal on EVA to push the craft (slowly) from behind. And since Jetpack propellant is infinitely replenished by re-entering the command pod, you can theoretically have infinite delta-V. All of the crew modules refuel your Kerbal’s EVA jetpack, EXCEPT the External Command Seat. Switch to different view modes by pressing “V†during orbit or EVA. Really helps during EVAs. Kerbals can open solar panels, repair legs, and repack chutes while on EVA by right-clicking. Useful if you forgot to extend your panels before time-accelerating. [1.0.2]: EVA capabilities now depend on the Kerbal’s role. Engineers can repair parts, scientists can restore science modules and take readings. Press ‘L’ on EVA to turn on Kerbal helmet lights Kerbals can survive some take-offs by holding onto the ladder outside the craft. Be very, very careful. This may come in handy if you want to hold extra copies of data, but you've already got one set in the command module. The gravity of Duna is the limit of the Jetpack’s capabilities. You will NOT be able to fly around on Eve or Tylo, so make sure you have ladders for your Kerbals to reenter the command pods. Flight/Docking Tips: Pressing Alt-“.†and Alt-“,†forces physics acceleration when in an atmosphere or under acceleration! Burn an equal amount of time before and after a maneuver node To use a maneuver node, burn towards the blue ‘X’ Use maneuver nodes and play with them Navball switches to ‘Target’ mode when you’re within 50km of the target If you align your vessels at perpendicular angles, you can dock using only the Navball and engines Alt-Right Click to transfer fuel between two tanks, even without fuel lines. [1.0.2]: You need to upgrade R&D facilities to enable fuel transfer. Place a maneuver node near the surface to estimate your suicide-burn times Use multiple gravity-assist flybys by placing your crafts into resonant orbits with the larger body Launch heading east (90 degrees on Navball) for cheapest orbital insertion It’s cheaper to perform an inclination change at launch rather than when you’re already in orbit Stick a probe in equatorial LKO to help you plan launches. See metaphor’s technique (which is used for real-life missions) for reducing interplanetary delta-v. Cheapest way to perform an inclination change greater than 45 degrees, by Alexmun: extend your AN/DN, perform your inclination change, reduce your AN/DN and recircularize Maximize Oberth Effect by performing burns at your highest orbital speed (aka at your periapsis) Press F5 and F9 to undo screw-ups. Alt-F5 is ‘Quicksave As’, but don’t accidentally hit Alt-F4! Drop your heaviest stages first You only need one or two engines to gimbal. The rest can be disabled by right-clicking. Switch to the Tracking Station or to a stationary, landed craft to time-accelerate when in a low orbit, then switch back to your active craft Launch an efficient ‘tug’ and use it for laborious assembly tasks in LKO You can ‘freeze’ the AP or PE readouts in Map view by clicking on them Use aerobraking/aerocapture whenever you’re around a body with an atmosphere to save delta-V. [1.0.2]: Due to the new aerodynamics and heating, this is much more difficult. Parachutes tear off in timewarp. [1.0.2]: This has been corrected and is no longer an issue. To visualize successive orbits, place maneuver nodes one-behind-the-other(useful for planning encounters/gravity assists) You can’t switch vessels while you’re in an atmosphere You can only store one copy of each biome’s science data in a command module. Use labs to store multiple copies of data (useful for maximizing the science returns) Use RCS, or limit your engine thrust by right-clicking, for precise orbital maneuvers. Be careful on long interplanetary injection burns that you don’t accidentally reenter the atmosphere Divide your long burn into several short burns (‘periapsis kicks’). Land on the ‘day’ side of the body, especially if you don’t have lights. ‘Closest Approach’ pointers only show when your inclination respective to the target is near zero, or your AN/DN directly intersects the orbit somewhere ‘Freeze’ or turn off batteries by right-clicking when you don’t have solar panels in early stages of Career mode, or need some guaranteed reserve electricity. When staging, rolling your craft will help ‘spin-away’ the boosters MechJeb has a pretty good aerobraking calculator under its ‘Landing Prediction’ window [MOD]. [1.0.2]: New aerodynamics means MechJeb’s predictions are approximate. Make sure your periapsis is above the highest terrain for a planet. Some moons like Gilly and Bop have mountains sticking up to 22,000m above the ground. Be consistent with your orbits. For most cases, this means your crafts should be in an equatorial, zero-inclination, prograde (counterclockwise) orbit. Nothing’s more annoying than rendezvousing with a craft, only to realize it’s going the exact opposite direction In Map view, hovering over the top edge of the screen will display the types of objects, just like in the Tracking Station. You can turn on and off debris and asteroids, for example. Have an escape system bound to ABORT, or the Backspace key. In docking mode, double-tapping the Spacebar activates “hold†mode. Don’t worry too much about a perfect gravity-turn/pitch program launch profile, but better to be too steep than too shallow-- too steep, and you waste a bit of fuel; too shallow, and you might be held up by atmospheric drag so much that you don't make orbit. Be careful with time warps near SOI changes. Don’t timewarp at 10,000x before Kerbin reentry, for example. Gameplay Tips/Advice: Spaceplanes are the key to lifting things to orbit for cheap b/c they're reusable and get oxygen from the air, but they're harder to design Having high part counts on your rockets will cause your computer to lag The color of the time in the upper-left box indicates physics lag/time. If the color is green, your computer is handling the physics calculations fine. If yellow or red, your computer is getting overtaxed with calculations. Send flotillas of smaller craft rather than one gargantuan craft Engine overheating is also meaningless, unless the Overheat bar becomes completely full. [1.0.2] Engine heating, and the entire thermodynamics, of the game have changed significantly. Some engines, like the nuclear engine, are now prone to overheating and explosion. Change your to something that suits you and your computer Consult the different orbital heights for time-acceleration speeds via KSP Wiki. No one likes to be stuck at only 10x acceleration. Print out and consult a Delta-V map CONSTANTLY when designing your missions. Print out a keyboard mapping diagram like this one. There are TONS of key combos you probably didn’t know! Contracts often have long completion deadlines but provide money up-front. So if you’re really short on cash, accept a bunch of contracts and worry about fulfilling them later. Upgrade to unlimited contracts as early as possible, accept them all, then use the up-front cash to do the fast and easy contracts Bundle contracts together and complete multiple contracts in a single flight Station a couple Kerbals throughout the system and use them to complete easy EVA/plant flag/transmit science contracts repeatedly. Experiment and test things out on bodies with similar gravities/atmospheres (on Minmus for Gilly missions, Mun for Dres missions, Kerbin for Laythe missions, etc.) Always have a way to recover Kerbals to Kerbin alive. [1.0.2]: Recovery of Kerbals is now especially important because hiring new Kerbals and leveling them up is expensive. Don’t worry about Kessler Syndrome. The chances of debris hits are incredibly rare. But excess parts in orbit may slightly slow your computer performance. Keep space clean by deorbiting stages, colliding it, deleting from Tracking Station, etc. to speed up computer performance and be aesthetically pleasing There’s lots of easy science near the Launchpad Minmus is a lot easier than the Mun. May be a little harder to reach because of the distance and inclination, but it’s far, far easier to land and return from Minmus, and there’s easier and more profitable science. Make lifters that can lift a certain payload to LKO (10t, 25t, 50t, 75t, etc.), save them as subassemblies, and use them rather than custom-building each rocket. This saves time at minimal extra cost. Contracts that stipulate a station "Supporting 'X' Kerbals" don't require you to fill those seats in the station. You can satisfy a contract for a 5-Kerbal station with a station that has the capacity for 5 Kerbals, but only two onboard, for example. Space stations are cool but not that useful except for refueling or storage Money is pretty easy to come by, so don’t worry too much about eking out a few thousand dollars in savings. Strategies: trade prestige for cash, prestige for science, and take Hard Negotiations = money and science flow in Upgrade buildings when you have to, not when you can. In the early stages of Career, before you orbit Kerbin, complete suborbital tourist contracts for easy reputation/science/cash boosts Science labs don’t automatically start with Kerbals in them. You have to add them manually before launch. [1.0.2]: Science labs have new features, such as science research. For a breakdown of how science labs now work, read this guide. After the first 3 tiers of the Tech tree, the bottom levels of the Tree yields more useful immediate results. Things like parachutes, batteries, and solar panels are more useful than large engines or structural parts. For RemoteTech, attach antennas, batteries, and simple solar panels to any stages or debris and turn them into simple comm sats rather than pure debris! [MOD] For RemoteTech, remember to deploy antennas before you lose contact with KSC, or else you’ll be a useless and inoperable spacecraft [MOD] Like in real life, read contracts carefully when accepting or completing them Mods Advice: Play w/ MechJeb and learn from it [MOD] Play w/o mods and learn from it. Please don't get this "MechJeb-or-not" debate started again. Play w/ additional parts packs like B9 or KW Rocketry [MOD] Play w/ Ferram Aerospace Research (FAR) for spaceplanes [MOD] Install Protractor to help w/ interplanetary maneuvers [MOD] Install Kerbal Alarm Clock to manage multi-ship fleets and transfer windows [MOD] Plan interplanetary missions with Ksp.Olex or Alexmoon’s Launch Window Planner or a Trajectory Optimization Tool and Alterbaron's aerobraking calculator [TOOL] Plan multiple gravity-assist flybys or synchronous orbits with a resonant orbits worksheet [TOOL] Install Precise Node or MechJeb to make more precise maneuvers [MOD] Install Kethane or Karbonite for off-Kerbin refueling [MOD]. [1.0.2]: This is now included in the stock game, so no mods are required. Install Kerbal Attachment System (KAS) for post-Kerbin construction [MOD] Install a visual enhancements mod or Chatterer for aesthetic effects [MOD] Install Docking Port Alignment Indicator mod for easier docking [MOD] If you have coding experience or really love KSP, contribute back to the community by making your own mod or tool! Use TAC Fuel Balancer to balance fuel [MOD] Use RCS Build Aid to balance RCS and help in construction [MOD] Concepts Advice: Take the time to learn the concepts about rocket science and orbital mechanics. Understand and perform Hohmann transfer orbits and bi-elliptic transfers to the Sun (Kerbol) Learn the Navball and how to move indicators Perfect rendezvous and docking without MechJeb Learn and understand Tsiolkovsky’s Rocket Equation Performing a burn ALWAYS affects the OPPOSITE side of the orbit The earlier you perform a burn, often the cheaper it is. “There are no straight lines in space†“A smaller orbit is a quicker orbit†Learn Kepler’s Laws to understand the interplay between semimajor axis, orbital period, AP/PE, etc. Learn and understand the holy trinity of rocket design: ISP, TWR, and delta-V TWR is most important at launch; ISP and Delta-V are most important during orbit Learn the different types of staging (parallel, asparagus, sequential, etc.) KSP is a two-body simulation, so only one body’s gravity can affect you at a time. Orbits ALWAYS revolve around the center of the parent body (unlike real life, where objects revolve around the barycenter. Radial burns ‘twist’ or ‘rotate’ your orbit by reducing or increasing your time to periapsis/apoapsis Performing your burn at a different point in your orbit is analogous/equivalent to performing a radial burn When nearing your target destination, radial burns are more effective than pro/retrograde burns Aerocaptures/ aerobraking can save buckets of delta-V. [1.0.2]: Due to new aerodynamics, they are much more risky and difficult to perform. Gravity-assist flybys convert radial speed into pro/retrograde speed by bending your trajectory. Remember, velocity is defined by both speed AND direction a planet can change your velocity simply by changing your direction. Learn basic aircraft dynamics (yaw, pitch, roll, thrust, ailerons, rudders, etc.) Understand “terminal velocity†and how it applies to launch, TWR, and throttling Understand phase angles and have some way of calculating them [MOD] Clustering engines can often give you better parameters than a single, larger engine. Midcourse corrections can be very cheap and have very large effects Polar orbits are good for probes and science, since they will eventually cover every latitude and longitude Burning anywhere other than pro/retrograde will incur mild-to-severe steering losses The only time two objects in space are perfectly stationary with each other is when they’re docked Oberth Effect: burning at highest orbital speed (aka at periapsis) yields 'extra' delta-v. It's better to maximize this effect by doing burns at fast speeds as much as possible. EVERYONE GETS THIS WRONG. Or at least not wrong, but very, very sloppy. Oberth effect is related to speed, not orbital height. Obviously, there's a relationship between speed and height, but for the sake of the newbie, please be consistent. For example, if I'm in an almost-perfectly-circular orbit, the difference in orbital speed at PE and AP is almost negligible, so Oberth effect doesn't really matter. I can start my burn anywhere along my orbit. If you're in a more eccentric orbit, the speeds will vary more, so Oberth will vary more. PLEASE BE CONSISTENT. Duna and Minmus may make good refueling stops, especially with Kethane/Karbonite [1.0.2]: Mining/refining is now included in the stock game. But it is always more efficient (but more difficult) to launch in one go with all the fuel you need. General Advice: Understand why things happen rather than follow rules rigidly Plan missions in advance. Planning is key. Set both small, short-term and hard, long-term goals Build things that work in KSP, not things that work in the real world. KSP physics aren't a perfect mirror of reality When in doubt, simplify and aim for smaller, less complicated rockets Play the game at your own pace Watch Scott Manley videos for inspiration, NOT practical advice necessarily. Edit: Scott’s newer Career guide videos are now quite practical and educational Expect bugs in gameplay and report them appropriately. When in doubt, consult the Internet, KSP Wiki, YouTube, and the forums Be yourself and play your way. This is a GAME. Having fun is priority #1. Make things as efficiently or inefficiently as you want to. You can always slap on MOAR BOOSTERS, for example. Design your mission backwards: what do I need at my destination? What’s the simplest rocket that can get to my destination from Kerbin orbit? What’s the simplest rocket that can get the payload to Kerbin orbit? Take notes and learn from your mistakes “Think outside the box" / “There’s many ways to skin a catâ€Â. There’s many, many valid ways to conduct a mission or solve a problem Use checklists Use subassemblies as much as possible to save time during design. Backup your save folder and craft files b/c the game can crash and mess them up. Back them up in an entirely different location than the save folder. Save early, save often. Don’t worry about being a ‘completionist’. Especially with version 0.90 and beyond, there’s more biomes and science than a sane person would collect. It’s tedious to try to collect every science point in every biome. Embrace KSP’s steep learning curve. Don’t be afraid to completely throw away a design and start from scratch. Thanks for all who contributed. I will update periodically.
  23. You mean besides opening the debug menu and forcing a contract? Even then, it might not give you the Eve one. For me, after I explored Duna, it shot straight to "Explore Jool". No Dres, no Moho, no Eve.
  24. What is going on here? Can you explain this a bit more? From what I can tell, it's like some weird infiniglide exploit except with Kerbals on EVA? And to the original poster, I agree with everyone else. It's not really an exploit. I did the same thing-- 4 EVA hops to get a ton of each Minmus science. I got real tired of doing rendezvous, though, even though I usually manage to make it back to the ship with 1 unit of propellant. Props to you for the patience.
  25. Welcome to the forums! We look forward to your questions, and as you master KSP, your contributions to the community. There are many, many different reasons why this may be occurring. 1. Just because you have SAS on a probe core does not mean that you have control authority. Without reaction wheels, RCS systems, or a thrusting, gimbaled engine, the probe core often doesn't have enough torque to control a vehicle on its own. Consider installing more reaction wheels or a gimbaled engine to gain more torque. 2. Where do you lose control? If you are losing control in the atmosphere, remember that drag will cause your rocket to flip if your rocket is not in-line with your prograde vector. If you're losing control out of the atmosphere, consider #1 above. 3. You may be running out of electricity, which causes your probe core to stop working and SAS to shut off. Install more solar panels or batteries. There are many other possible problems, but there's a start.
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