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Fearless Son

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Everything posted by Fearless Son

  1. Forgive me, but I thought only Thermal Control Systems (the radiators that deploy by unfolding) cool any part of the ship? I thought that fixed radiators only cool the part their directly attached to. Or has that changed in the last couple years?
  2. It's a visual oddity of the game, but if you really need to land in a place and there's a reasonable chance it'll be dark where you touchdown, put landing lights on your lander. At least two lights in parallel around the bottom of your lander. I find they're also helpful for seeing how close you are to the ground, since due to the square-cube nature of their projection the breadth of illumination will narrow.
  3. "I have people coming in here every other week to propose using giant rockets to put tiny probes into orbit, and here you are telling me you plan to put an entire goddamn spaceship up there?" "We're using nuclear bombs, sir. We can put something roughly the mass of downtown Chicago into orbit." - Apocryphal conversation attributed to engineers of Project Orion in a meeting with a United States Air Force admiral.
  4. Oh Kod, I can hear this image...
  5. I actually love those kinds of missions. I'll sometimes wait until I have a bunch of contracts that I can do in a single mission, then run through them all at once. Doing any one of the contracts is a simple enough engineering challenge, but trying to do all of them and figuring out how to do so cost-effectively is a lot of fun.
  6. I'm betting Kerbal's would need a "Laythe-lung" rebreather to comfortably move around there without a helmet.
  7. Here's an example of a small spaceplane as a proof-of-concept piece I called the "Flechette": Two Whiplash engines give this thing a great acceleration force as it rises up through the atmosphere. The aerospike engine is activated before the Whiplashes flame out, and the additional thrust from it forces more of the increasingly thin air into the Whiplashes, allowing them to continue to contribute thrust longer than they would alone. The LF/O engine continues to burn throughout the parabola of the launch, and cuts out at about the time it reaches the apoapsis or shortly thereaf
  8. Maybe. I haven't tested it. But I do know that the Whiplash has a better TWR at high speed than the Panther does. I tend to use Panthers more in situations where I need a plane with a high gimble range on the engines or the ability to rapidly raise their thrust at a moment's notice. For something where you just push the throttle to max and go in a straight line at high altitude and high speed, my instincts tend toward the Whiplash.
  9. Admittedly, I don't use R.A.P.I.E.R.s much for many of the reasons you just described. I find most spaceplanes I build tend to be built with high-thrust Whiplashes and a low-thrust, high ISP vacuum engine. Instead of the long, slow speed build up of the R.A.P.I.E.R., I go for an aggressive ascent at a forty-five degree (give or take) angle where the Whiplashes can build a bunch of speed and send the plane into a suborbital trajectory on air-breathing thrust alone, then uses a long, slow burn from it's vacuum engines to circularize. Such a design is not, strictly, as efficient as more "e
  10. It's a balance of utility. The R.A.P.I.E.R. isn't a very good (lower) atmosphere air breathing engine, nor is it a very good vacuum LFO engine. However, it does both of those things for a very modest amount of mass compared to mounting multiple engines that do only one of those things. And nothing else quite compares to it for building surface-tangential speed during higher atmospheric flight. I do admit sometimes being a bit frustrated at it's lack of thrust in the lower atmosphere, which often requires either lots more R.A.P.I.E.R.s than strictly necessary for most of it's flight or
  11. Nebles Kerman was flown out to the southern Kerbin ice shelf to set up some additional solar panels and collect some barometric data to fulfill a contract. Unlike the last disastrous attempt, I had since upgrade my spaceplane hanger so it could have more than thirty parts on a plane. I set the plane up with a duel-wheel gear setup to better absorb the weight of the plane when it touches down (assuming all four tires impact the landing surface at the same time.) But I wasn't sure that would work, so I added about four parachutes on the wings and engine nacelles to allow it a vertical
  12. Small jet engines in wheel hubs? Where have I seen that idea before...
  13. Looking at your Minmus lander, I see it has some tail fins on it. That's great if you're going for aesthetics, but it does make the mission a little more difficult. They only add a little mass, comparatively speaking, but they do add a lot of drag relative to the mass of the lander, and further that drag will tend to pull the lander into a prograde facing when in atmosphere. That's fine if it was going up, but is going to work hard against you if you are trying to burn retrograde during aerobreaking. I suspect this is why your lander came apart when you were returning, the drag wanted it t
  14. Nice mission you ran! I love those high-science single returns. Mind if I offer a little design advice to help you get up into space and back to Kerbin with less trouble?
  15. Realized I recovered my landed plane before getting my final reading, so I have to fly back to the south pole. Also I might not have brought enough power for the monitoring station, so it was an excuse to drop off more solar panels. Unlocked the next node in the aircraft line of the tree, so I could use a design with Whesleys instead of Junos, which resulted in cutting the cruising time in half. ... unfortunately, there were some unforeseen complications on arrival. The fixed landing gear was heating up by the end of the trip, the atmospheric friction building heat just slightly faster
  16. Still early in my Breaking Ground career. Built an early-career science plane that I'm pretty proud of because it looks kind of cool. Taking it to the south pole for a contract and to deploy some of the new science stations while I'm at it. [EDIT]: It took me more than an hour and a half to travel from KSC to the south pole in this thing. *Shrug* Junos. It also wants to nose-up slightly, which to be fair makes landing a little easier. I need to drive it around on the ground to hit all the contract way points, but I'll do that tomorrow.
  17. All of the points you made in your original post @Xavven are most of the same reasons why I play stock as well. I would also add on top of that, I want sharability to be a factor. If I post a photo of something, I want people to look at it and think to themselves, "Yeah, I could build something like that," without having to wonder if they have the right parts for it or not. Because that's what I do when I look for cool pictures of constructions on this forum. That having been said, I have used some very minimal informational mods from time to time. For example, I've used Kerbal
  18. That looks ideal for a carrier-deployed CAS craft.
  19. I love that this DLC has brought so much utility to having rovers.
  20. Began a new career last night, as per my tradition whenever there is a new major content update. Titled it "Kerbal Robotics Program", in honor of Breaking Ground. Nothing too spectacular to report, just doing the initial contracts and a few basic things to get enough science to get to orbital capacity. That's been my experience ever since 1.0 came out. Prior to that, I would keep the throttle lower during ascent due to the "souposphere" nature of the atmosphere during the beta stage. I might still do that if lifting off of Eve though, if only because the atmosphere there is
  21. I would argue that KSP is pretty steep. Not necessarily because of the game part of it though, but because of the simulation of orbital mechanics takes some time to get one's head around. It's unintuitive to our Earth-born brains ("You mean I move further away from that other vessel when I thrust towards it?") and requires some readjustment of thinking. The only "game" bit beyond that is some trial and error to figure out the proper weights and thrusts and the like to actually get anywhere or do anything, which can take a bit of experience before you get an intuitive handle on it.
  22. Glad to hear (from the other replies) that hinges can hang loose. One of the things I always wanted to build was a tractor/trailer style of rover design, with a small high-torque engine segment and an attached mission module (be it cargo, passengers, communication equipment, mining drills, or what have you.) You run into problems with a rigid-body design on uneven surfaces full of creators (like most non-atmospheric bodies) and having multiple segments that articulate lets it navigate those a bit more easily.
  23. Not any debris that was already in orbit, though I have come within a kilometer of getting decked by something orbiting the opposite direction. That would have been a disaster. However, I have had launch vehicles destroyed by boosters that didn't peel away from the main body properly after decoupling. Most of my booster coupling design is focused around mitigating that kind of risk without excess complication.
  24. Honestly, probably nothing more than I have already built. But don't get me wrong! That's not because I'm not excited for the DLC, I am in fact very excited! However, I tend to play career exclusively, and I have a habit of starting a new career every time a new major change comes out. So I have to creep up to the new content from the beginning again. Feels like I appreciate it more after I have "earned" it, and building toward it gives me a new long-term objective to accomplish. That said, I'm especially excited this time because of all the new things to find and new ways to c
  25. (The cover for the Russian edition of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.)
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