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Posts posted by Hotel26

  1. I've built a prototype of a VTOL ion-drive "hover-raft" for lo-grav environments up to and including Duna.

    Gossamer Albatross 1.0

    It's dual purpose is local tourism as well as commuter flights over about a 30-degree radius of the reference body's circumference.  It could serve for rescue too.  "Hover-raft" and "mono-prop commuter" are two nicknames for it.

    Unfortunately, I think I've reached the limits of my VAB capability with this project, so I'd like to open a competition.  (Maybe something similar has been done before?  Please let me know and provide a link and thank you!)

    Otherwise, I'd like to propose a challenge.  Take a look at the craft file above.  I want an 8-seater (6 or above).  VTOL.  Stays aloft on ion-power alone.  Is only fueled with xenon and mono-prop.  Is fun to fly and OK to require plenty of advance flight planning.  You may use monoprop, e.g. OMS, to propel to speed or to initiate/augment ascent.  It *must* be equipped with a refueling "spoon" (similar to that included in 1.0 above): a standard-size dock facing downwards for mating with a fuel-truck rover.

    Mono-prop is used for initial acceleration and final deceleration and the usual attitude adjustments.  After that it should have at least 30 minutes duration aloft on ion-power.

    The v1.0 posted here needs weight reduction and I wanted to remove the stack bi-couplers and replace the retract landing gear with lighter-weight fixed gear.

    One last comment: "form follows function".  I don't care how ugly the result is (check out my effort!!) as long as it is fun to fly and good for exploration, tourism and medium-distance commuting.

    Apologies to resorting to hoping other people would spend their own valuable time, energy and expertise working on this but I know that a) I am at the limit of what I can do with the VAB, and b ) there are rocket craftsmen out there who might revel in a challenge like this and enjoy producing something that I believe will be very useful and fun to a lot of others.

    Want to take a crack at it?  Be my guest!  Please post your work back in this topic and get some recognition/kudos for your ability!

  2. 17 hours ago, Jimbodiah said:

    It just lets you reassign the first component of the craft, nothing mysterious about the function.It's a way to make subassemblies of your entire craft by adding an extra parts and making that the main part. Depending on which end you place it on, that end will be the node which will attach to the new parts.

    If the root tool performs just one function, you have to ask why it provides two clicks.  I think it's possible that in splitting two craft apart, designating the root node will specify the direction in which the connection part splits away.  But even so, a one-click solution would set the root node and then detaching would work as normal.  You would still need a second tool to make a connection node in some cases where the editor prefers the opposite end.  It's when these two use cases are combined that things quickly get muddy.

    This post was the most helpful I had found: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/128626-editor-transparent-parts/#comment-2336425

  3. 10 hours ago, sal_vager said:

    Nice post, oh it turns out you can use the root tool on transparent (non-connected) parts as well, just pick them up first then press 4.

    We're supposed to be able to activate the root tool then click the craft (or ghost of a craft) we want to re-root, not sure if that got fixed, but normally I just pick up my craft with shift+click then press 4 anyway.

    Excellent; thank you.

  4. (This is not a question; hopefully, it is an answer.)

    tl;dr: summary:

    • activate the root tool
    • it doesn't operate on anything transparent
    • the first node you click will become the "connection" node
    • the second node you click will become the new "root" node

    This tool (counter-intuitively combining two separate functions(?)) allows you to a) set the root node in an assembly of vehicles and b ) set some other part as a "connection" part, which makes it eligible (little, green, spherical marker) to have new (transparent) parts or sub-assemblies attached there.  After you've operated with the root tool on an assembly, you'll likely have to save it as a sub-assembly and then manifest it in a subsequent edit to use it but then it will have the attachment point you need...


    (This forum has been very helpful to me and I am very grateful.  So I'd like to feed back something I've learned.  Feel free to critique the above as it may be misleading or incorrect!)

    I had to edit a craft that is actually an assembly of several craft.  You know the deal: a transfer vehicle delivers a lander into the destination orbit; the lander undocks and then deorbits to drop a rover on the surface but then land separately or re-orbit...

    I wanted to pull the vehicles apart to edit some and then reassemble them.  (I use common components across a family of vehicles.)

    I needed the root tool but -- as has been remarked in this forum -- it isn't intuitive.  (Which is pretty much inline with the whole "philosophy" of the VAB.  :( )

    There is some talk in this forum about cookbook step-by-step use of the root tool and some consensus that nobody knows how it works or how it is supposed to be used.  Forgive me if there are some definitive articles about it, as I didn't find it.

    Hope this helps someone else.  And, as always, I stand ready to learn from the more knowledgeable.


  5. On 25/12/2015 at 11:40 AM, fourfa said:

    Small ISRU turns 10 tons of ore into 1 ton of fuel.

    Large ISRU turns 1500 ore into 3000 liquid fuel OR oxidizer, or 1350/1650 of liquidfuel/oxidizer, or 3000 monoprop.  Divide all those numbers by 10 for small ISRU.

    Presence or absence of Kerbals doesn't change ISRU output, only drills (and only specifically engineers, not pilots or scientists).

    Only about 20 units of fuel mean there must be a problem somewhere else.  Power, storage, docking state between tanks and ISRU, don't know.

    You're right.  The Wiki says:

    "The conversion rate of this module is far less efficient than the bigger Convert-O-Tron 250's. "

    (I should have read the fine print!)

    I just converted 478 units of ore to receive 86.51 fuel and 106 oxidizer which is a fuel:oxidizer ratio of 1:1.23 and a yield of 20%, rather than 200%, so fourfa's 10-fold divisor is accurate.

    Thanks very much all!  It's a relief to know what is going on.

    The ISRU is not strictly necessary on the ground.  I thought I could use a smaller fuel budget on the lander but it's cheaper to produce all the fuel in space (OR take a large ISRU to the ground...  which would mean a third type of flight system).

  6. @Snark Yes, first time using any kind of ISRU.  It's the small ISRU.

    @fourfa Interesting.  The small ISRU is only 10% as efficient as the large ISRU??  woah.  Redesign.  I'll put the large ISRU on the rover on the surface.  Although truth be told, I am now producing so much ore that it doesn't matter much except for pride.  I'll run a test but it's credible that I am getting 150 units total of fuel from that 1500.  Or should it be 300?  Hmmm.

    I can also send some ore space-side and use a big ISRU up there to see what yield I get.

    I'll experiment and report back here.  Thanks for the help, gentlemen.

  7. I have empty fuel tanks, 1,500 units of ore in a tank. 4x Gigantor solar panels extended, and 4 of the small, passive radiators.  I noticed that the radiators did not pick up a glow.  (And I should mention that they were on a docked lander whereas the ISRU was on the rover docked to the lander.  Nevertheless, the ISRU status said temp OK, 100% efficiiency.)

    Small ISRU runs quickly and at 100% efficiency at optimal temperature.  I see that I *am* getting fuel converted but from 1,500 units of ore I only got about 20 units of fuel.

    There was a Kerbonaut sitting on a chair on the rover but I understand the presence or not of a Kerbonaut does not effect ISRU performance.

    This is KSP 1.0.5.  So what gives?  I expected to get 3,000 units of fuel from that 1,500 units of ore...

    Thanks for any assistance and enjoy your Holidays!

  8. Well, guys... thank you. I would never have guessed you could make this so easy for me.

    I have just performed two successful tests.

    With the Duna Explorer, I made no changes but started an early gravity turn and then let SAS handle it by tracking Surface Prograde.

    Easy to orbit and lots of fuel left, too.

    With Neptune Gemini, I added steerable winglets, unlocked all the engine gimbals, initiated the turn before reaching 100 m/s and tracked Sfc Pro.

    Nice and steady, longer in the fiery atmosphere than I liked but it too orbited to 100K with lots of fuel left. I didn't even put fairings on the payload.

    I want to thank you all: John FX, Starhawk, Warzouz, paul23, Jovus, Pecan, fourfa, GoSlash27 for your insightful xepertise and professional


    Brilliant, guys, thank you so much!

  9. (The subject of vehicle design ought probably to have its own section in the forum; I'm posting here... sorry if I've misposted)


    I discovered KSP in Dec 2014 as a result of a Xmas gift. From Dec 25 until the release of KSP 1.0, I spent more time

    flying in KSP than I spent at my full-time engineering job that pays the bills. With the release of 1.0 and discovering that

    my growing stable of single-architecture vehicles would no longer fly, I stopped playing KSP -- cold turkey -- thinking that

    I would "solve the problems" later. Well, I'm back, but struggling and still failing.

    I would really appreciate general and specific advice from anyone who has had some success making the transition to


    Deeper Background

    (I just read a post about "what kind of Kerbonaut are you?") I suppose there are two kinds of players in general. Those

    who like to think that astro-engineering in KSP means they could cut it at NASA as real astrojocks. Maybe they want

    more and more reality until they can't cut it any more and, hey, it was fun while it lasted. Then maybe there are those

    like me who want a simplified environment that teaches you real things by offering graduated challenges but leaves

    plenty of room for imagination, creativity, innovation and fun.

    As engineering is my day job I can tell you it is detailed, hard, tedious, repetitious, boring, frustrating and exhausting.

    Whichever kind of Kerbonaut you are (see above), KSP has taught you much more about e.g. solar systems or orbital

    mechanics than you ever could imagine have learned anywhere other than NASA and given you that education broadly

    as well (which you would not get at NASA which is why engineers there relax at home (or at work ;) ) flying missions

    in KSP!).

    I don't want to avoid worthy challenges! (These are what make recreational pastimes fun.) Orbital mechanics and

    particularly rendez-vous and docking are enormously hard (the first Russian cosmonaut to try to dock spent a very

    frustrating hour and then ran out of RCS fuel after having been as close as 1 meter. And he had no idea what he was

    doing: a space cowboy with the Right Stuff making it up as he went... The Russian-language version of KSP had not

    yet been released...) Orbital mechanics is challenging but it is my friend because if I understand it, it helps me get

    to where I want to go. Conversely, atmospheric re-entry is a foe because it does absolutely nothing for me except

    oppose my progress.

    While the first kind of Kerbonaut might very well tend to build spacecraft by consciously or unconsciously copying

    NASA ("mmm, yeah, this looks real"), the second kind of Kerbonaut may produce outlandish and even butt-ugly,

    preposterously impossible craft that are entertaining only if you don't puke on first sight. (Scott Manley has a

    couple of early videos of space-suited Kerbonauts sitting atop rockets in the open that demonstrate the concept

    pretty well!) The first kind of Kerbonaut probably should have tuned out of this post long ago -- and my apologies to

    any who have stayed with me this far!! :)


    Before I fell off KSP when 1.0 came out, I had been developing a common architecture for a whole family of multi-

    purpose vehicles to facilitate exploration of the whole Kerbol system. Yes, they were butt-ugly. But underneath,

    in my opinion anyway, there were concepts and insights and innovations that I had seen nowhere else. I was

    having fun. In addition, I came across someone else's craft labeled simply 'Duna Explorer' that I thought was

    ingenious and inspiring.

    None of this worked any more with KSP 1.0 and the typical problem was stable ascent for a while, followed by

    instability and tumbling.

    It's time to reveal a picture of exactly what I mean by the aerospace term: "butt-ugly". Please take a look at

    http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/113874-Neptune-Space-Labs and follow it to the Youtube site,

    Neptune Space Labs. You'll only get to see Neptune Gemini (space station launcher) which is a craft launched

    in pairs to make a six-spoke space station. It's a member of the Neptune family and the architecture is based

    upon three tiers:

    1. upper deck is payload and varies between family members depending upon mission(s)
    2. middle deck is the structural base for the whole vehicle and is also the deorbit stage
    3. lower deck contains the staged boosters for ascent and orbital insertion.

    Neptune tends to be tall which leads to the problem in KSP 1.0.

    Failed Remedies:

    • I've put fairings onthe high-drag upper deck components
    • I've put extra RCS especially at the top extremities
    • I've put totally big-ass fins at the bottom of the craft (and everywhere else)
    • I've shortened the length of the craft by distributing the payload (spokes) around the girth
    • I've employed dynamic (and static) shifting of fuel mass to control the CoM so that the upper deck does not become comparatively fuel-heavy
    • I've eschewed use of the MechJeb Ascent Guidance to opt for simple, stable, vertical ascent in the initial phase

    Nothing works. KSP 1.0 aerodynamics has defeated me. Unfairly, I feel because the totally fat-ass tail fins should have totally prevented end-

    swapping (hmm, well maybe not). To boot, I have lost my mind. (Obviously, when you rerun the tape at Neptune Space Labs...)

    Some of you will say, "yeah, that's ugly, Squad should revoke your KSP license and refund your purchase price and ban you for life."

    The Prize

    I think I've set the stage now with a pretty impossible challenge.. and packed the grandstand with observers. Any one in the very helpful and

    very knowledgeable KSP community who can identify in particular what is my major malfunction in KSP 1.0 all of a sudden is gonna deserve

    to comport themselves henceforth on two legs with a John Wayne, or perhaps I should say, Chuck Yeager, style swagger.

    More seriously... guys. what are the biggest lessons you learned when you hit the KSP Mach 1.0 aerodynamics barrier? How did you break


  10. Hey thanks. I tried it again and it worked normally. I think the mystery was because the Pilot's Room

    simply had no available candidates to automatically load into the cockpit. Today when I tried it in the SPH,

    I pressed the Crew button to try to load the cockpit before rolling out to the runway and it showed Catula

    Kerman was already loaded in the cockpit.

    So it was just a shortage of Kerbal power... thanks for prompting me on this.

  11. May be the first time I've tried any of the space planes since 1.0 came out.

    I've also moved to a 32-bit Linux system. I notice that none of the STOCK

    space planes will fly:

    "This vessel has no remote-controlled or manned command module. It won't

    be controllable."

    I looked inside the Stearwing D45.craft file and saw:

    part = mk2Cockpit.Standard_4290319044

    I'd be happy to just get a download of the stock space planes if that would fix

    the problem. But maybe there are some common causes for this kind of

    problem? (All of the .craft files in the Ships/SPH folder have a date that is

    identical to the initial download and installation of KSP on this machine on


    I have:



    Kerbal Alarm Clock


    Navyfish Docking Port Alignment

    Any clues/hints/tips will be appreciated.

  12. Here is a playlist for the series:

    The .craft files for all spacecraft will be posted at the end of the series.

    Neptune provides a platform to build your payloads upon and to pack every payload into space with as much fuel as you can carry.

    1. Nothing moves in Kerbal Space without fuel.

    2. All fuel comes from Kerbin

    3. All that fuel has to be moved into low orbit.

    The Neptune Maximus fuel tanker will be featured in an upcoming video.

  13. The Neptune class of spacecraft use a common architecture defining a range of multi-function vehicles dedicated to moving fuel and Kerbonauts into space for colonization and exploration.

    Neptune Space Labs is posting a series of videos on Youtube to introduce the range, beginning with Gemini 1. Please enjoy.

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