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Posts posted by Hotel26

  1. Here in Oz, where I live, toilets work differently.  Maybe.

    tl;dr the difference between the Big Button and the Little Button is only psychological.

    Starting with the obvious, when you flush them, the water spins in a different direction.

    That might just be federal law, like the side of the road we drive on, although I recall long ago in a physics class something called 'coriolis'.  I dunno.

    But we (most people) don't know much about these ingenious devices and we certainly take them for granted.  For example, what should we do if the water gets shut off for any extended period of time (3 months, say)...?

    The modern device was invented by Sir Thomas Crapper and the Queen was so pleased with her first installation of his device that she ordered  him beknighted[sic].  (The fact checkers squeal about this one; pretty much confirmatory, though, in my book.  Real facts would pretty much put them out of business.  (What even is their business model??))


    Moving forward, I recently ran the first in a series of simple experiments (remniscent of that dude dropping projectiles off the roof of a high-rise in Pisa, Italy, for which he got arrested, after being reported by a couple of alarmed tourists in the square below,  who narrowly missed being struck).

    We have here in Oz (and I feel very sure this is federal law) two buttons on the master console of our toilets (at least, if you're a city dweller).  I pressed each, counted out 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000 while it irrigated...  allowed the 'cistern' to refill and repeated a number of times (almost certainly in violation of federal law!?).

    So, guess what?  'Little button': six-1000s.  'Big button': six-1000s.  Visual observation roughly indicated the same volume of water dispensed by each.  Hmmm...

    OK, second experiment, with everything primed and ready to go: I pushed the 'little button' and let the contents completely expel.  As soon as it had completely 'flushed', I then pressed the 'big button', expecting to get the second half...

    And guess what?


    Nada.  You knew it!

    OK, so my conclusion so far is that we may have a defective toilet.

    So, third experiment proposed will be to repeat the same on the other two toilets in my house.  My wife will likely veto this due to already-mounting concern about our water bill.  (She also thinks I have way too much time on my hands these days.)

    Open disclosure: I've always used the Big Button.  Only now, under pressure (of the water bill), have I made the resolution to find out what the Little Button does.

    Depending upon the result, I may then have to consider a decision to "go public" with my findings.  Or ask a professional "fact-checker" to investigate...


    Sorry this is long, but Science is exhausting.


  2. On 2/19/2024 at 2:08 AM, DannyD said:

    a planets spin

    has no (non-relativistic) effect on an orbiting craft.

    The speed of the orbiting craft in a circular orbit at a particular altitude ("outside the altitude") is determined by the mass of the body it is orbiting and the craft's altitude (actually, orbit radius).

    Vorb = sqrt( G * M / r )

    Elliptical orbits are similarly independent of planetary spin.

    See also Mean Orbital Speed in Wikipedia

    Welcome to the forum!

  3. Welcome to the forum!

    If you're new to KSP then definitely get KSP1 and consider the DLCs (Making History and Breaking Ground) which ought to be considered 'standard' (e.g. you download craft from KerbalX.com).

    Reasons are:

    1. you'll play the pure game with the best experience (least aggravation from the raft of ground-zero KSP2 bugs, limitations, updates etc).
    2. KSP 1 has the depth to keep you busy for years.  (By then, KSP 2 might be ready for prime time.)
    3. (In case you ever become ready to dump Windows and switch to Linux...  :) )
  4. 4 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

    A fictional detective, who was feeding Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while he was writing historical novels.

    So you're saying that Watson (personal pronoun 'Dr') was a figment of the imagination of a fictional detective by the fanciful name of 'Sherlock Holmes', but who in turn was another figment of this author by the pseudonym of 'Arthur Conan Doyle' (personal pronoun 'Sir').  Wouldn't one conclude from this doll-like style of nesting of figmentation that the real identity of the author was ... aha ... Russian, and most likely the contemporaneous Leo Tolstoy, whose ghost lived on, writing mysteries, for about another 20 years after Tolstoy's death (ink poisoning), before moving into another body and assuming the pseudonym of 'Agatha Christie', personal pronoun 'Dame'?

    As the great Hercule Poirot would later exclaim, "Aha!  A very great mystery has been solved here this day! Tout est devenu soudain évident !"  


    But one thing still troubles me.  Why is it that the record of personal pronouns of both Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot has become, as you say, missing?  Could it be that...?


  5. 8 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

    It's well known that Sherlock Holmes

    Numerous conundrums that have mystified me my whole life have now been (miraculously) resolved by what you have written above -- a masterly treatment and many thanks for that!  

    But please tell me one last thing that is still puzzling me: "who is Sherlock Holmes?".  Should I have heard of him?

  6. 23 hours ago, MythicalHeFF said:

    I've landed on Ernus and returned safely, something that, to my knowledge, has only ever been done once before.

    The browser I normally use was rendering your planet name such that it was pretty hard to read correctly.


    Which lead to a whole (off-topic) diatribe about:


    I now see your destination's correct name is ERNUS.  Mea culpa.

    (I did have a good time with my whole excursion tangent...  :)  but the scissors have now dutifully done their work.  <snip>  <snip>)


  7. On 10/24/2022 at 11:15 PM, jimmymcgoochie said:

    There’s a bug in KSP 1.12 where activating time warp can shift your orbit a bit; the bigger the jump, the worse the orbit shift. Try pressing ./> to speed time warp up one notch before clicking any “warp to” buttons and see if that helps, it will lessen but not eliminate the problem and you’ll likely need to do course corrections on longer journeys to fully counter it.

    It's in 1.11 too.  Time warp shows up the bug but it creeps in and subtly effects maneuver nodes.

    The work-around is to f5, then Hold-f9: i.e. quick save and then quick reload.

    I think the issue is a discrepancy between on-rails time and live mode time.  It builds up with scene changes and/or time-in-game.

    It can accumulate to an insidious level in which it destroys a far-distant rendez-vous with a planet.

    Periodic save-reloads are de riguer for me, having been hen-pecked by this one.  Getting in and out of the game resets the problem, needless to say.

    It's a bad, bad bug.

  8. 26 minutes ago, Jebs Piloting Skills said:

    What was the main cause of those kerbal's deaths?

    "Pilot error."

    It's always listed as "pilot error", no matter what happened.  :(  :( 

    (Welcome to the forum!  Here's your toga...)




  9. Question and Answer Time:

    In which I (from time to time) answer PMs from my letterbox...

    From 'Q1Anon':

    Q: I had no idea you could fly in IMC in KSP!  I still don't think you can because e.g. there are no clouds in KSP!!  Why would anyone even want to???

    A: It has been famously said that "flying is 99% boredom, punctuated by 1% terror".  Well, flying IFR is a kind of intensive admixture of both at the same time, but more importantly: it is engrossing and stimulating (in an admittedly unpleasant sense), but the final result (if successful) always presents an exhilarating moment!

    As well as being something completely different (kind of boredom), there is not much scenery at night, so a reasonable protocol for challenge is to simply self-enforce IFR at night.

    From 'Q2Anon':

    Q: Why use stock for this when there are presumably any number of flashy mods out there?

    A: Well, I actually agree with this!  It's a question of which mod will suit you best and knowing what you want; in addition, getting some basic IFR knowledge, sufficient to know what you want to use it for.  In particular, for one reason or another, it seems that no one mod yet covers the whole gamut of possibilities (but I could be wrong about this).  They will universally do very little to instruct you in the Way of the Instruments.

    So here follows my own scanty knowledge of what is available, what it can do and what the limitations might be:

    • NavUtilities: provides ILS approaches and permits user-definition of airports.  Don't know what else.  Being pop-up rather than IVA, it is light-weight (a good thing).
    • RPM-based (Raster Prop Monitor, a base mod for numerous super-mods, providing hifi cockpit instrumentation):
      • MAS: an authentic cockpit environment that will be as fiddly as the real-life cockpit (ergonomics for turbulence!); this mod I understand is now considered obsolete.
      • ASET: I understand this is now the "go to" model for RPM-based cockpit IVA simulation.
      • as I recall, it is difficult to define one's own navaids (I did succeed and do have notes) but I found that the OBS instrument did not appear to track user-defined VORs.
    • nothing much known about enroute navigation with respect to supporting jet routes.

    I am certainly going to be exploring more in this area and upgrading my own mod status -- and it has always been an intention in this thread to introduce information/discussion about such mods (despite the provocative thread title, "...for stock KSP".

    From 'Q3Anon':

    Q:  Do you realize Hotel26 [please call me 'h6'] that you appear to be heading miserē with this thread in that you are now setting a record for the most number of consecutive posts without any intervening response from anybody else?

    A: Yes, but of course!  I did say up front that very few pilots find "flying blind" (and no, we never use that term!) a fun thing to do.  If you want to know the whole truth:


    I intend to make myself a badge celebrating the record (when I know its extent) and of course post it proudly in my signature.  :)

    Q: "I have a follow-up question...  There's a rumor making the rounds that you are simply using this thread to build your own micro-website to host your personal list of approaches (similar to what you tried with 'Truman'...).  Any comment?"

    A: Not at this time.




    Today, just over 6 years since inception of my Orbit world (January, 2018), the first kerbal boots landed this day on the surface of Eve.  [click + arrows => slide show]

    o2RTJMd.jpg    6oM81Wh.jpg    MFSAqaR.jpg    1hi9uZc.jpg

    I have been refueling/recycling spent Zephyr boosters from LKO to LEO for some years and they provide a low-tech method to deorbit almost any 2.5m payload (with chutes).  In this case, a Milkrun occupied by the valiant Cergel Kerman.

    In the third shot, Cergel had baled out for a stretch and a soothing back massage (occasionally looking over his shoulder to see how close Eve was approaching!), and then para-sailed to the wreck of the Zephyr (4th shot).  (Still containing fuel!)  The landed Millkrun can be seen poking up over the rise in the background; a short return stroll.

  11. VLB Approach KSC VAB Helipad:


    -0.0495 -75.6290: V-KSC9 +1250 0/75.6SW KSC R9
    -0.096706 -74.618806 +105: L-KSCVH +180 -0.1/74.6SW KSC VAB Helipad

    Deploy an M-1x1 Structural Panel, labeled as "L-KSCVH..." as above, to the KSC VAB roof using Alt-F12 Set Position: at altitude 105 AGL. 

    It may or may not be visible, depending upon whether it locates itself (fortuitously) under the rooftop.  It is likely to re-appear on the roof after a scene switch return to the location.

    1. MEA (Minimum Enroute Altitude) is 2000m.  You may descend to 1000m within 10km DME.
    2. Tune the V-KSC9 VOR (IAF) and navigate to it.
    3. Enter an RH Holding Pattern on holding course 093 and descend to 1000m,
    4. Depart the IAF at 1000m on course 093, descending at the standard 1:10 ratio, going no lower than 280m.
    5. Reaching 7.0 km DME from V-KSC9, switch to L-KSCVH.  Descend and maintain 280m.  Transition to vertical thrust and begin reducing speed.  Note that your sink rate can be observed from the yellow Prograde marker above/below the horizontal on the navball; this is an aid to finding thrust for approximate TWR:1.
    6. When the L-KSCVH target marker declines to -45 degrees on the navball, switch to Vertical control reference and reduce forward speed to 5 m/s or so.
    7. Establish a small sink rate , maintaining it between 0.5-3 m/s so that the pink navball Anti-Target appears. Yaw, as desired, to keep it ahead of you.
    8. W/S on the ("standard") helo joystick will advance/retard the yellow Retrograde Anti-Target ahead and behind. A/D will send the yellow Retrograde marker in the opposite direction.  Push the yellow navball marker in the direction of the pink Anti-Target marker but restrain airspeed to make gradual progress only.
    9. Use the airspeed indication to cancel horizontal motion over the beacon.  Once in guided descent toward the +175m MSL heliroof target, use Airspeed to control thrust and keep the sink rate less than 3 m/s until ready for touch-down.
    10. Missed Approach: full procedure entails a return and repeat from V-KSC9.  But if not pear-shaped, establish the hover returning to 250 MSL.  Return to Horizontal control reference.  Yaw the craft until L-KSCVH is once again directly ahead.  Move toward it maintaining 250m.  Restart the descent.

    "Good luck with this: it is sweaty work but well worth it once the gear is safely chocked!" -- Jeb


    It will, without doubt, be the hardest approach listed in this series, so do not expect it to come easily, nor get despondent if it does not!

    Notes about Orc:


    I do highly recommend use of the Orc tilt jet for training for this approach.  While keeping an eye on sink rate as power oscillates slightly above and below TWR:1 (with commensurate long ramp times), Orc provides "instant response" vernal Vernor sink arrest, enabling the pilot to decisively quell sink rate.  This allows a confident descent, always within "parameters" and terminating with a guaranteed soft touch-down your passengers will tip you for.  :)

    Note that the ventral Vernor is enabled only when R (RCS) is enabled and will be keyed with [K] in HORZ mode and [H] in VERT mode.

    Please check Orc for the latest ECO (Engineering Change Order), dated 2024-01-27


  12. At this point, I would like to introduce a new type of (highly fictional) navaid: the Vertical Landing Beacon or VLB.  (See also "NDB and VOR navaids" before, which described NDB, VOR and DME navaids.)

    It is quite a strange Kerbish invention as it does look like a flat (and inert) plate, somewhat resembling an "M-1x1 Structural Panel", if you can imagine that.

    This one is labeled: "L-KSCVH 0/76.4SW +180 KSC VAB Helipad"[1] and it was Alt-F12 Set Positioned with coordinates -0.096706 -74.618806 alt:105

    vyN6qx7.jpg    SF2B1nC.jpg

    If you examine the second photo (and you yourself also get lucky, as I did) you may get yours positioned just under the helipad roof, where it is not at all an obstruction.

    Nevertheless, it if does reappear on the VAB roof after a scene switch, it's not likely to obstruct operations since it is really just a big, flat, robust, printed-circuit board, quite impervious to aircraft tires.


    To use similes from RL, a VLB is like a vertically-oriented ILS, projecting a conical "descent slope" vertically upward.  In addition, it has a low-power NDB side-transmitter with a range of 5km.

    The upshot is that the instrument pilot will make a 3-phase approach to a vertical landing in zero visibility.  The phases are:

    1. navigate to a separate IAF (Initial Approach Fix), e.g. a nearby VOR;
    2. fly outbound to intercept the VLB (within its 5km horizontal range) and thence to the VLB, transitioning into hover flight;
    3. when the VLB marker on the navball declines  to the 45-degree depression, switch to VERT-ref mode and commence a controlled descent to land on the marker


    In my next post, I will publish the VLB Approach KSC VAB Helipad.

    I guess that any airworthy machine capable of hover flight can be used for the VAB roof, but it would be helpful for a novice to this approach to get accustomed to what I think is a good exemplar for tackling this level of difficulty of approach.

    So I refer you to the Orc and do highly recommend you try it out.  In particular, it is equipped with a Vernor "Instant Arrest"[2] ventral thruster that all but ensures a soft touch-down, all the time, every time.


    [1] I use Haystack to rename the part but you can name it in the SPH/VAB before deploying to runway/launchpad (but then you have to clean up the unwanted craft file afterward).
    [2] instant-on descent-arrester

  13. 11 hours ago, Martian Emigrant said:

    I have been using it as a sandbox and there are things all over the place.

    My primary world, Orbit, is six earth year's old and contains that period accumulation of versions of vehicles and other flotsam, jetsam and, especailly vacsam (which can be quite hard to round up due to distances and orbital mechanics).

    So I'm in a very similar situation, especially as Dr Albert Kerman's 'Theory of Extreme Relativity' has been validated once more now by observation that Time itself is slowing down in Orbit (relative to Earth time, that is, of course).

    Advisory: schmaltz alert:  :) 


    My response has been to launch Operation Declutter (rather than heartlessly abandon a whole solar system filled with thousands of kerbals with their own stories, histories, relationships and achievements).

    Hearts are torn here in Mission Control every time the wrecker (usually a "Crab") approaches within visual range to give that final, fateful push toward fiery deorbit.  And, yes, of course, we rescue any kerbals still left onboard after these centuries without snacks (let's not think about this too long).  And we milk any remaining fuel, as directed by the COFB (Central Orbiting Fuel Bank) that these days, occupying the LKO hub it does, seems to have its fingers into every snack and pie.  But we have quotas to make.  And we console/encourage each other by flashing a little secret handsign (out of CCTV view) that we know means, "we will just send new stuff up, by the Force!".

    Due to the foresight of our kerbal ancestor and pioneer of our space program, Dr Thaddeus Kerman, who instituted the "Divine Intervention" program shortly after Orbit inception, rounding up everything is not totally impossible as any and every object deemed "lost in space" has automatically qualified for a classified process known as Alt-F12 GKO Teleportation.  Once relocated to GKO (Geosynchronous Kerbin Orbit) strict quarantine rules have applied, but properly-equipped scavengers scour GKO now, as we speak, to efficiently rescue/deorbit FOD ("foreign object debris").

    It is probably certainly too late for your former contract world, @Martian Emigrant, but perhaps you would consider instituting a Decluttering Strategy/Policy from inception in your new world so that it might last longer before going all "red dwarf" on its inhabitants? That would be the merciful thing to do, hmm??  :) 

    After all, we play rule guide KSP in order to go where no kerbal has been before...  and do things...  there.  Any thing that keeps our mind busy on the doing of the, ah...  thing -- and not necessarily on the purpose (if any).



  14. So I have a project underway to explore/define "instrument approaches" using stock KSP.  No mods, no navaids.

    This is raw navball.  Camera View pointed up.  Skyward.

    Just after touchdown/shutdown.  You'll notice the QBE "marker" sitting center on the VAB heliroof (just in front of the port engine pods).


    When I spawn the QBE onto the roof using Alt-F12 Set Position: -0.0968 -74.6187 +104, the device actually gets located just under the helideck, in the space below.  ("104" being the magic key.)

    I was so thrilled to pull that off because it's center-deck but not an obstruction to landing vehicles.

    KSP, in all its majestic wisdom, will however promote it up onto the deck after a scene switch returning to the heliroof.  Shazbat.

    In any case, the Orc pictured (the "Director's Cut") has a vertical control reference and a belly Vernor as well as carrying a small supply of monopropellant oxidizer in the cockpit for "instant-on" descent-arrester control.  (Which is what makes the whole enterprise manageable.)

    Concentration level is quite intense.  I 'mimed' the operation in "stop motion" in Vessel Mover to get things into my head just before this first successful 'full-dress rehearsal'.

    Bottom line is that a returning VTOLjet can return to KSC in fog and land on the roof in zero visibility (plus standard radar altimeter; heliroof altitude is 175m MSL).


    UPDATE: and twice.  Not a fluke, then.


  15. (I knew there was a way to do it.)  I've rediscovered a way to use the keyboard to set the parking brakes (you know what I mean).

    Wasn't sure whether I would post it in Shower Thoughts(!!) or here, but I do have a picture that almost made the cut to exhibit here in WDYDIKT -- so now I'll do a twofer.


    Here's the tip:

    1. hold the B key down.
    2. tap the 'Esc' key to pause Flight View
    3. release the 'B' key
    4. tap 'Esc' again to unpause

    Voila, your brakes are locked.  :)  And, yes, I think I prefer this to reaching for the mouse.  YMMV.

    Not enough??  OK, here's the recent achievement:


    My first landing on an oil rig, courtesy of Kurumi...  (The Orc is visible on the deck in the back RHS.)



  16. I am finding that if I wait a long time and then attempt to edit/include some plain text, I can Save the change successfully.  The post then goes back to being locked for a long time.

    Q. What is a "long time"?
    A.  Don't know, but will test & report...

  17. This might seem a little mundane, but even Kerbals like to have a frolic in space!

    I recently put a brace of (16x) Kerblink dumsats into a 60x90km orbit using Kerblink C-16 (ad):

    var79Fk.jpg     0Gxdldx.jpg

    The Kerblink sats spread out (I know I am oh so very late to this party!) but fundamentally "run on rails", as we like to say at SpaceX.

    LKO Operations Desk at Mission Control sometimes see a dumsat or two in the vicinity.

    And when the mission schedule gets idle for a spell, it's relaxing to switch to a Kerblink dumsat (unmaneuverable) and ride with its to its fiery de-orbit.  (upper right pic)

    I do actually have a program running at Mission Control to declutter LKO (and we haven't figured out actually what these irritating little orbital gnats do) so it does all seem somewhat pointless.

    Therefore, be it resolved: the next batch will go up in a westerly equatorial orbit...  Ho ho ho.  THe LKO Ops Desk are sure to get a big kick out of the periodic "Kerblink showers" they encounter, particularly those crossing the lanes between 90 and 60km!!  :) 

    Similariy ("fiery re-entry"):


    I have been enjoying my latest Nerfjet MaxQ (ad); landing, so far, at Armstrong and Aldrin bases on the Mun.  With a total of 6.4 km/s dV it is my primary executive jet for space.



  18. ILS Approach KSC R27:


    -1.8407 -72.0683 : V-SADDL +1370 1.8/72.0SW Saddle Ridge
    -0.0502 -74.4811: I-KSC27 +130 0.1/74.5SW KSC R27


    1. Minimum Enroute Altitude is 2000m.
    2. Tune V-SADDL on Coney Island and turn to its bearing
    3. use [f4] to light target markers and set a view so that the V-SADDL DME (distance) can be read
    4. If V-SADDL bearing is between 274 to 004:
      • fly direct to V-SADDL
      • fly outbound on radial 319
      • fly to the BEERS fix on radial 319 24 km from V-SADDL
      • use a right-turn holding pattern to descend to 1000m and slow to e.g. 100 m/s
      • turn toward 270 to intercept and fly the I-KSC27 ILS approach using -10 m/s descent per 100 m/s airspeed
      • DH (Decision Height) is +130m MSL; go around if GS deflection exits the -5:-10 deg range
    5. if V-SADDL bearing is between 004 to 049 or 229 to 274:
      • fly to DME 24km from V-SADDL and then turn to 004 or 274 (respectively)
      • expect to intercept the 319 V-SADDL radial
      • as the V-SADDL target marker on the navball proceeds nearly off the navball, execute a 45-degree turn toward it
      • when that target again approaches an exit from the navball, turn to radial 319 and commence to track out from the anti-target (behind you; opposite corrections)
      • when you reach 24km from V-SADDL on the 319 radial, you are at BEERS and may turn to intercept the I-KSC9 radial as above
    6.  If V-SADDL bearing is between 319-049 or 229-319:
      • fly to DME 24km from V-SADDL and then turn to 004 or 274 (respectively)
      • expect to intercept the DME 24km arc and then begin incremental-heading tracking of that arc
      • when the heading reaches 049:
        • turn to 090, fly 30s, execute a left-hand Procedure Turn (to 045 and return on 225) to pick up the 270-inbound localizer
        • commence a -10m/s per 100m/s airspeed descent to track the Glide Slope.
      • or when the heading reaches 229:
        • tune the I-KSC27 ILS to pick up the 270-inbound localizer
        • commence a -10m/s per 100m/s airspeed descent to track the Glide Slope
      • DH is +130 MSL or to personal minimum
      • I-KSC27 target outside of -5:-10 degree declination indicates immediately go Missed Approach
    7. Missed Approach is a climbing right turn to heading 090, 1000km, and then tune and turn to V-SADDL, climbing to 2000m
    8. If in the case, that you approach along the DME arc heading 049, but are not already at the Approach Altitude (1000m), enabling you to use a 090 Procedeure Turn course reversal to intercept the Glisde Slope:
      • then: you should turn inbound to V-SADDL, execute a right-tun holding pattern until 100m and desired approach speed, heading radial 319 outbound
      • then: intercept the I-KSC27 ILS as above

    Please refer to this helpful diagram below:



    So, in brief. you can see that three entries to the approach are possible:

    1. Direct, which allows one to fly direct to V-CONEY and then out on the 319 radial 24km to the BEERS fix, which will serve as the FAF (Final Approach Fix).
    2. Up through the Intercept areas, which will allow one to fly heading 004 or 274, to eventually intercept the 319 outbound radial and proceed to BEERS.
    3. via the Arc areas, again flying 004 or 274, but arriving back at the 24 km arc,  rather than the 319 radial.  Flying the arc accurately means that headings 049 and 229 indicate arrival  at the BEERS tangent to the 24 km DME arc.  If not at Approach altitude, a right-turn holding pattern at BEERS on the 319 radial from V-CONEY must be adopted until the desired altitude indicates that the ILS can be intercepted and tracked.  Otherwise, a 229 arrival at 1000m can be turned directly to track the ILS 27 inbound.  A 049 arrival at 1000m has the option of an outbound left-hand Procedure Turn, tracking the localizer.
  19. On 1/16/2024 at 6:12 PM, Martian Emigrant said:

    Kiego Karcia

    So cool!  (+5 coming your way.)


    The following has been festering inside my cranium for a couple of weeks now.  I deliberately picked the most primitive drawing tool on Earth to further torture myself in getting it "on  paper", but that is just part of the whole fermentation process.

    This is going to be the ILS Approach KSC R27 and it's a lulu because it employs VOR/DME arc segments.


    I had feared that I was going to need to draft a separate approach for traffic originating from the NW but this will work efficiently for all comers.

    All of the above will be explained; coming soon...

  20. With the following caveat:


    stieenking summer has arrived here and I'm taking 60-second cold showers mutiple times a day (or an equivalent plunge in the spa), so not a lot of thought has gone into the material for this post.  :) 

    It's 11p here and 29C (84F) in my computer room still...  not great.

    I thought I'd get serious and start 'balancing' lifters with respect to thrust, fuel load and max payload mass specification.

    1. start with an engine
    2. add tanks and fuel until the lift-off TWR will be some nominal minimum (e.g. 1.2).  KER at least reports this
    3. fly a test to 75 km orbit[1]
    4. note the amount of fuel remaining.  Its mass is your maximum payload.
    5. reduce tankage/fuel capacity by this amount of fuel you now don't need
    6. the maximum payload possible might go up slightly, but it will be close enough so keep the estimate from 5 as reserve since some payloads will be attract more drag.  YMMV.

    I haven't flown a real test on this algorithm because a) I've only just convinced myself this should work, and b) I'm taking too many showers to have time for the hot and sweaty business of flying.  :) 

    [1] what about multi-stage lifters?  I'm thinking that raising PE to some suborbital 'altitude' describes the situation where the upper vehicle will need time for a circularization burn that is largely determined by the vehicle and the separation PE.  The PE has to be higher enough that the circularization burn is short enough that Mission Control can return to the earlier stage for Ride & Recovery.  The engine and TWR of the second-stage of the lifter will largely determine the required circularization time.

    [2] I've many times used parasitical lifters that draw fuel from the payload.  This seems like a very flexible arrangement.  But I think it's obsolete if one has a range of lifters spanning the payload mass spectrum.  If your payload is too heavy with fuel for a lifter you want to use, and you know you want to refuel it in orbit before interplanetary departure, you have the option to unload as much fuel from it as will get it under the max weight for your desired lifter.  You'll just have to leave enough for maneuver and rendez-vous for that refueling.

    [3] I guess some people like the fun of designing every lifter for every individual payload!?  They might feel bad about using a range of payload-spanning lifters in a "modular" style?  I think every launch to orbit should carry full fuel (even with a lighter payload).  The excess fuel should be stored in orbital depots.  Then the lifter de-orbited or otherwise re-used.  (I send one species to Eve for use there as de-orbital boosters!)

    [4] time to cool off!

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