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Everything posted by Starhawk

  1. Sounds like the way to go is, indeed, an unmanned command pod attached to an empty Mk1 pod. However... Electricity is a significant issue when using unmanned command pods. If you have access to solar panels, no worries, if not... Hopefully you have access to batteries. You can add radial mount batteries without adding actual weight (or drag) in flight. If you don't have batteries... Don't worry, Jebediah will keep until you get enough science unlocked to get the batteries or, better yet, solar panels, so you can go and rescue him. Good luck!
  2. I was wondering about this exact thing just two or three weeks ago. I was fairly convinced that it was better to start from Kerbin orbit, but even though I speak some orbital dynamics I wasn't sure of the exact reason. So I checked it out myself. Tried some transfers both ways with the same craft. My testing confirmed that starting from Kerbin orbit is much more efficient, and after the many excellent posts above, I now have a better understanding of why. It may be easier in some sense to just jump out of Kerbin's SOI and then play with a maneuver node in your (solar? kerbolar?) orbit until you get an encounter, but it costs quite a bit of delta-v.
  3. Looks interesting. What did you think of it?
  4. Are you going in the correct direction in the orbit? If your ascending node is almost 180, I think you're going the wrong way. On my first satellite launch contract ever, I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't complete. I thought whoever set up this contract must be crazy if they wanted me to get closer than I was. I read a few forum posts and realized I hadn't looked at the inclination value. I was perfectly in the orbit going exactly the wrong way! There is also a visual indication, the little beads of light that circle around the orbit, but I missed that at first.
  5. A mod that showed flight data or a map view on a second screen would be wonderful! I took a quick look around but didn't find any like that.
  6. In my experience, it greatly depends which intake you are using. Generally, more of the cheaper, lower tech intakes are needed than the fancier, higher tech ones. You definitely want more intakes if you are going above the thick part of the atmo. Air intakes become very ineffective above about 36 km and jet/turbojet engines will flame out unless the throttle is pushed way down. Wings also become less effective at this altitude, but it seems as though they are still providing some lift. I don't know enough about the aerodynamic model in KSP to give you any exact values, but I have a spaceplane with one turbojet, and I can easily make orbital velocity using only two shock cone intakes. I did a lot of trial-and-error design when I first started making planes/spaceplanes. Hope this helps. Good luck!
  7. It's another small thing, but... Mouse click transparency. In the VAB when working on large craft and I go to change the staging, I often end up inadvertently selecting and detaching the part 'behind' the staging icon I'm trying to click on.
  8. When I started, I didn't know the obvious reasons, and went to the Mun first. Went to Minmus later and thought, 'Well, wasn't that easy!'. That was before I even discovered maneuver nodes.
  9. Congratulations! I still remember the elation of my first successful Mun landing. Happy flying!
  10. No worries, I had that same thing happen to me, and it had me baffled for a while. Glad you got it solved! A thought or two about this. If mass limit comes into play, consider this. Despite their high thrust, SRB's are very heavy for what you get out of them. I've tended to find that multi-staging SRB's tends to lead to diminishing returns very quickly. You might try playing around with more liquid fueled stages. As far as the LV-909 goes... You are absolutely right about not wanting tall, skinny landers. Short and wide is the way to go. That said, the LV-909 is way shorter than the poodle, allowing you to place your landing gear higher, resulting in your centre of mass being lower. With a low enough centre of mass, you should even be able to get away with only four legs. As for sufficient, it only matters if the engine can get the mass of your lander off the munar surface. From the looks of it, it should easily be sufficient (even without the separatrons ). Given the same amount of fuel, and the fact that it is so much lighter, the LV-909 will be much more efficient and will thus get you much farther than the poodle. Good luck!
  11. That's it exactly it, DeMatt. You hit the nail on the head. I just went into the VAB and checked, and it matches the pictures. ROXunreal, when you attach the stack decouplers, they can attach in two positions. Only one of these two will allow correct functioning of the components. The decoupler needs to be placed in the LOWER of the two possible positions. The next booster will then attach (and decouple with the decoupler) properly. Back to the unbalanced flight... Parts invisible because they are duplicated onto themselves or clipped completely inside other parts still seems like the most likely cause.
  12. Looks like you've got a decoupler still attached to the bottom of your RT-10 booster in the pics. That doesn't look like the source of the problem, but it's definitely behaviour you don't want. Contrary to what Streetwind says (sorry) the decoupler looks like it's on the right way. Maybe it's clipped into the Rockomax tank? I would recommend going in to the VAB and stripping the ship to it's smallest stage (that has propulsion) and test that. If you get no 'pull' effect, then go back in and strip it down to the next smallest stage and launch and test that. Lather, rinse, and repeat. You will at least know which exact portion of the craft has the problem. Invisible parts clipped inside can definitely cause problems like this. Good luck!
  13. This is the unmanned version of my Rugged Rover. It can flip itself over with the landing strut, and takes a lot of punishment. RTG's for power, so you can drive in the dark if you dare. I love that the surface survey missions from the new contracts (Fine Print) make rovers actually useful now.
  14. Thanks. I really got good practice doing rendezvous and docking maneuvers on that one. And landing on the Mun, of course. I know what you mean about the trial-and-error aspect of the game. I just love the 'flying by the seat of your pants' feel that you get from the game. I so relate to finding this game and becoming totally addicted! Good luck on your rescue!
  15. I don't use B9 or FAR, but I do love spaceplanes. I would have to echo the CoL closer to CoM comments above. Use turbojets instead of jets if you're going to space. It seems way too heavy to me for your purpose. If you want it that heavy, you need moar lift. My favourite SSTO design takes two kerbals to orbit with a lot of fuel left, and only uses one turbojet and two 48-7s's. The lighter you make it the less thrust you need. And the less lift. If you only want to take kerbals to orbit, it might be best to start with the fewest, lightest engines possible. LV-N's are great for long range, but they are very heavy to carry all the way up to orbit on a spaceplane. They also have very poor performance in atmosphere. Good luck!
  16. I love it! I wish I could think up a Suessian rhyme just now.
  17. Well, in 0.24 I took Jeb and Bill to Jool and landed them on Tylo, Vall, Bop, and Pol. That was one of the most extensive missions, but I used MechJeb a lot. Do you know of MechJeb? One of my favorite missions so far is my big Mun science sweep. I built a lab/refueling ship and lander with all the science instruments, sent it down to land and collect science and return to refuel 11 times in different biomes. I returned to Kerbin and got 5790.6 science from the trip. If I had planned more efficiently and gone into a polar orbit around the Mun I probably could have hit all the biomes. I did this 100% stock. Here are some pics. I also like spaceplanes a lot. I've spent quite a bit of time playing around with them. I have one (old, as in 0.24) design that can take off, go land on the Mun, come home and land at KSC with lots of fuel left. Right now, I'm trying to get Jeb, Bill, and Bob safely back from the surface of Eve. I'm amazed I made it back to orbit from my landing site at about 600m, but I don't know if I have enough delta-v for the rendezvous with the refueler. Let's just say I left the margins a little thin.
  18. I so understand about the hour count. The word divorce has come up in my house in connection with the game. I've just joined the forums, but been playing since 0.23.5. 20 kerbals? Now that must have been an interesting mission. I've never done one with more than four kerbals. Did they all land on Laythe?
  19. 1. Every significant Kerbed mission must be crewed by Jeb, Bill, and Bob. (They need experience, and I need to feel invested. Also means I build bigger rockets.) 2. Being stationed indefinitely at a Mun outpost is NOT the same as being stranded. (This means you, Sondrin.) 3. Achieving a specific objective is often easier than you think - Don't be daunted. 4. Achieving a specific objective is often harder than you think - Don't give up. 5. No Kerbal dies. (At least until I start my next career using hard mode, DRE, TAC LS, and Remote Tech. Then, I'll be building launch escape systems into every kerbed vehicle.) 6. Big rockets should NEVER be built looking like real rockets. Pancakes, not carrots. (This will probably change soon.)
  20. I built this lander in 0.23.5 or 0.24. This was back before I joined the forum, so I didn't know about the challenges. I had already landed at Laythe once, so I designed the mission to visit the other four moons. If I had pulled off Laythe on that mission I would have met the rules for Jool-5. Anyway, this lander went to Tylo first, dumped the lower stage on Tylo ascent, and then went on to land at Vall, Bop, and Pol. Had to rendezvous with the support ship each time, but MechJeb took some of the tedium out of the process. It took a big lifter to orbit this. The lifter was then refueled in Kerbin orbit to become the IP stage. I had to do a separate launch for the support ship, and it, too, was topped up with fuel before heading for Jool.
  21. Perhaps a Level 4 Pilot Skill - automatically switch to stability assist once the landing legs make contact.
  22. I, too, find the hold retrograde pilot skill very convenient for landings. There is one caveat, though. I was coming down on Minmus and hit a bit hard and bounced. 'Well isn't that cute.' I thought as Jeb flipped the lander over just in time for it to end up on it's back.
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